Mashaal reportedly fires deputy Hamas leader

Kuwaiti paper says Abu Marzouk fired under Syrian and Iranian pressure over Fatah reconciliation.

May 19, 2009 16:39
Hamas abu marzouk 248 88

Hamas abu marzouk 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has dismissed his deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk due to opposition over policy regarding reconciliation with Fatah, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Syassa reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the Damascus-based Mashaal fired both Abu Marzouk and another senior official, Imad al-Almi, following Syrian and Iranian pressure. The two Muslim countries, the paper wrote, were unhappy with the two officials' calls to create a more independent decision-making mechanism within the organization. The two were also targeted for voicing their objections to actions taken by Mashaal within the context of negotiations between Hamas and Fatah - actions that were guided by Damascus and Teheran. The officials have already been replaced by two Hamas members described as supporters of Mashaal. One of them is Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan. The dismissal of Marzouk and Almi reportedly caused uproar among the senior Hamas leadership in Damascus and the Gaza Strip, with heavy criticism leveled against Mashaal and his actions. Several members accused Mashaal of attempting to redesign the organization's leadership based on Syrian and Iranian intelligence assessments and instructions, who in return, provided Hamas with financial support. The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report.

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