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Hamas again picks Meshaal as leader

By CNN Staff
updated 11:44 AM EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal departs from the Gaza Strip on December 10, 2012 in Rafah.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal departs from the Gaza Strip on December 10, 2012 in Rafah.

(CNN) -- Hamas, the Palestinian movement that runs Gaza, has re-elected Khaled Meshaal as its political leader, several sources inside Hamas confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

Meshall returns to Gaza
Hamas political chief on cease-fire

Meshaal was re-elected as chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Cairo on Monday. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya will continue to lead the movement internally inside Gaza.

Based in Qatar, Meshaal has led Hamas in exile. He left the Palestinian West Bank in 1967 at the age of 11 after Israel moved into the territory during the Six Day War. Israel, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attempted to assassinate him in 1997.

Hamas leader unbending, but seeks Palestinian unity

Meshaal, who visited Gaza in December on the 25th anniversary of its founding, then called for reconciliation among Palestinian factions but offered a singular vision that does not recognize Israel and remains committed to armed struggle.

Israel, the United States and other Western countries label Hamas a terrorist organization. The United States also has listed Meshaal as a terrorist.

READ MORE: Obama: 'Peace is possible,' but see the world as Palestinians do

READ MORE: Hamas leaders in Egypt for cease-fire talks involving Israel

Journalist Talal Abu-Rahma in Gaza and CNN's Salma Abdelaziz in Atlanta contributed to this report

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