According to Arab press, Hamas leader Mashaal seeking presidency of PLO

‘Al-Quds Al-Arabi’ quotes Palestinian sources as saying several Arab states, led by Jordan and Qatar, are pushing for Mashaal to chair the PLO as a way of getting Hamas to sign the Oslo Accords and recognize Israel. (Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report) Mashaal and other Hamas leaders were expelled from Jordan and stripped of their Jordanian citizenship more than a decade ago. But over the past 18 months, Jordan has moved toward restoring its relations with Hamas, allowing Mashaal and some of his top aides to visit the kingdom on at least three occasions. The rapprochement between Jordan and Hamas came after the Islamist movement pledged to refrain from meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs. Hamas has also reassured Amman that it does not support calls to replace Jordan with a Palestinian state. On Friday the Jordanian king gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during which he said that Hamas appeared to be ready to soften their position and live peacefully next to Israel, according to a report on the Albawaba website. Abdullah also stated that Hamas was becoming “a bit more realistic” and was open to dialogue with Israel. The Albawaba report stated that “Jordan’s monarch was soon made to eat his words when Hamas shot down his hopeful claims point blank,” as Hamas spokesman Yahya Moussa al-Ebadsh stated on the website, Palestine Today, that its relationship with Israel would not change. “The only relationship with this enemy is the resistance,” he said.

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