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Hamas leaders in Jordan for first time in years to attend funeral

Ammas gives special approval to Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal to visit after death of former official; group is largely banned from the kingdom

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh flashes the victory sign before he speaks to journalists after his meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh flashes the victory sign before he speaks to journalists after his meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The leaders of the Hamas terror group traveled to Jordan on Friday for the first time in many yers.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and former leader Khaled Mashaal came to attend the funeral of Ibrahim Ghosheh, who served for many years as the organization’s representative in the country.

Jordan closed Hamas’s offices in the country in 1999. The Hamas leadership at the time was accused of meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs.

In the past 15 years, it has largely banned Hamas officials from its territory, except for humanitarian purposes such as familial matters.

Izzat Muhammad al-Rishq, the head of Hamas’s Arab and Islamic Relations Office, thanked King Abdullah II in a statement “for his approval of the brothers’ entry to participate in the funeral of the deceased.”

Hamas’s political leadership was once based in Amman. It later moved to Qatar but was expelled from the Gulf country as well. In recent years, for the first time since the terror group’s founding, Hamas’s most senior leaders are currently living inside the Gaza Strip.

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