Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordanian authorities have permitted Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’ political bureau chief, to enter the Hashemite Kingdom to visit his sick mother, Ammon News Agency reported on Sunday.
Mashaal has already arrived in Jordan and will be staying there until Wednesday. According to the report, his visit was arranged in complete secrecy, as were his previous visits to the Kingdom – in 2009, to attend his father's funeral, and in 2011, to nurse his sick mother.
On September 25, 1997, two Mossad agents attempted to assassinate the Hamas leader by injecting him with an unknown poisonous substance. The secret operation created a major rift in Israel's relations with Jordan, only three years after both states had signed a peace treaty.
In 1999, Jordan's King Abdullah II expelled Hamas' leadership from the Hashemite Kingdom, accusing the Palestinian Islamist movement of meddling in Jordan's relations with its significant Palestinian population.
Following the decision, Hamas’ headquarters and senior leadership moved to Damascus, where they enjoyed the support of the Syrian regime. However, with the beginning of Syria's civil war in 2011, Hamas leadership had to relocate once again – this time to Qatar, where Mashaal currently resides.