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What to expect from Hamas' newly elected leader

Several challenges await Ismail Haniyeh as he steps in as Hamas’ new leader, most importantly reconciliation with Fatah and fixing ties with regional players Egypt and Iran.
Ismail Haniyeh, newly elected head of Hamas political office, arrives to visit a sit-in in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in Gaza City May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem - RTS15NZB

Former head of Hamas’ political bureau Khaled Meshaal announced May 6 that Ismail Haniyeh won the movement’s internal elections held that day, and that he is the new head of the movement's political bureau. Meanwhile, Meshaal, who resides in Qatar, will remain a member of the movement's Shura Council.

A senior Hamas official based in Qatar told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Hamas’ Shura Council, inside and outside of Palestine, organized a videoconference call on May 6 during which they elected Haniyeh, who was competing for the position with two other Hamas leaders — Mousa Abu Marzouk and Mohammed Nazzal — and the 18 members of Hamas’ new political bureau.”

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