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Exclusive: Al-Zahar, Meshaal's Rival, Out of Hamas Leadership

Shlomi Eldar has learned that Mahmoud al-Zahar, a rival of Khaled Meshaal, has been removed from the Hamas political bureau. 
Head of Hamas security services Salah Abu Sharekh (L) speaks with senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar (R) during a graduation ceremony for members of Hamas security forces in Gaza City January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3C1N7
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In the wake of this week's re-election as head of Hamas' political bureau of Khaled Meshaal to a fourth term comes the news that Mahmoud al-Zahar, the movement's strongman in Gaza, has been left out, Al-Monitor has learned. That means he has not been elected to be part  of the political bureau.

Championing Hamas' hard-line policy, al-Zahar was vehemently opposed to the reconciliation talks with the Fatah movement espoused by Meshaal. He also set out against Meshaal's stance that Hamas had to move from an armed struggle against Israel to an unarmed popular uprising.

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