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Hamas has sights set on PLO presidency

Exiled Chief of Hamas' Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal speaks during conference in the Qatari capital, Doha on 1 May 2017. [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images]
Khaled Meshaal speaks during conference in the Qatari capital, Doha on 1 May 2017 [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images]

Prominent Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal visited his parents' graves in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Friday afternoon, in a politicised and media indication to draw attention to the fact that his presence in the Jordanian capital may not be linked to any political agenda. It also suggested that Meshaal and Hamas do not want to overstep the boundaries set for such visits, especially in light of the absence of official or political relations between Hamas and the Jordanian government.

Local online newspaper Ammon News quoted Meshaal while visiting his parents' graves in Jordan, expressing: "God granted me the visit, and I pray to God to have mercy on my parents' souls and to raise them to the highest levels of paradise."

Meshaal suddenly travelled to Amman on Thursday without a clear political agenda. Local media reports quoted an informed Palestinian source that Meshaal intends to meet some friends during his visit to the Jordanian capital.

In this context, Jordan has likely started trying to be an effective player, either as part of the Palestinian political and organisational components or in the PLO file.

READ: Hamas: killings in Nablus are extension of Israeli aggression against all Palestinians

There have been signs that Jordan is also in contact with leaders or wants to consult with leaders of the Arab component in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948.

It seems that contact took place with prominent figures in the Arab community in occupied Palestine, such as Dr Ahmed Tibi and other members of the Knesset, including Sheikh Abbas Mansour. Some contact may also occur with the leader of the Islamic movement in the 1948 occupied territories, Sheikh Raed Salah, as this matter has been previously discussed.

The Jordanian government and the authorities are likely trying to follow the important developments in the internal Palestinian file. According to Palestinian sources, it is firmly believed that Hamas has its sights set on the presidency of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

A Palestinian source said that Hamas does not want to compete with the Fatah movement, or any other Palestinian factions, for primary influence in the West Bank arena, but the movement's eyes are on an advanced position within the leadership of the PLO.

It seems that the Jordanian contact behind closed doors was discussed on more than one level. It is also likely that these contacts are intended to protect Jordanian interests in the event of developments in the Palestinian context.

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