Hamas Makes Diplomatic Inroads; Seeks PA Presidency

Jerusalem, Jan. 29 – Hamas’ political head Khaled Mashaal visited Jordan on Sunday as he seemingly stepped up his bid to replace Mahmoud Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority.

It was Mashaal’s first visit to the Hashemite Kingdom in more than a decade. Jordan expelled Hamas’ leaders in 1999 in part because of their efforts to undermine the peace agreement between Amman and Jerusalem.

Jordan is said to be considering re-establishing ties with Hamas, which is trained, armed and funded by Iran. Amman is watching the strengthening of Islamist political movements throughout the region and does not want to be isolated....

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