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Egypt prods Hamas on next PLC head

Few details have emerged from meetings between a Hamas delegation and Egyptian officials last month, but it is believed that Hamas is being encouraged to cede its speakership in the Palestinian Legislative Council as part of a leadership succession plan.
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A Hamas leadership delegation led by political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh visited Egypt Feb. 9- 28. The trip's goals and results have remained vague, with no word from participants Khalil al-Hayya, Fathi Hammad, Rawhi Mushtaha, Izzat al-Rishq, Mousa Abu Marzouk and Saleh al-Arouri. Hamas’ Feb. 24 statement said only that all meetings were positive and addressed the situation of the citizens in the Gaza Strip and reconciliation with Fatah.

On March 11, Npaa Press quoted prominent Palestinian sources as saying on condition of anonymity that Hamas and its Egyptian hosts mainly discussed President Mahmoud Abbas’ health crisis in late February, about which the Palestinians refrained from providing details, and possible scenarios for the post-Abbas period. The Egyptians also asked Hamas to relinquish the speakership of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to an internationally accepted figure without specifying what Hamas would gain in return. They suggested three PLC members for the position: Salam Fayyad, Hanan Ashrawi and Mustafa Barghouti.

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