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Khaled Mashaal tapped as international Hamas director

Former Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, who has not held an official leadership position in the organization for years, will return to serve as the director of Hamas’s diaspora under his successor Ismail Haniyeh, official Hamas media announce.

Hamas’s internal organization is divided into four areas: Gaza, the West Bank, Israeli prisons, and abroad. Mashaal, who currently lives in Qatar, is well-connected with Hamas’s key patrons in Doha and Ankara.

Khaled Mashaal speaks in Doha, Qatar, August 28, 2014. (AP/Osama Faisal)

Mashaal had reportedly launched a leadership struggle against Haniyeh for the top spot in the terror group during its elections, which were held secretly over the past two months.

The announcement that Mashaal is to serve as Hamas’ second-in-command as head of its diaspora division makes it more likely that Haniyeh — with no obvious challenger in sight — will serve another four-year term as chief of the organization’s political bureau.

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