Gaza, March 30 (IANS) Hama’s Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh Saturday led a high-ranking delegation headed to Egypt in a surprise visit, reported Xinhua citing sources.
The visit came after Egyptian media reports blamed Hamas for the August killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai, which borders Gaza with numerous smuggling tunnels underneath between the two.
While the reason for the visit is not immediately know, the sources suggested that the delegation may meet with Hamas’ leaders in exile for the movement’s internal elections, which include the choosing of its supreme leader — the head of the politburo.
The current politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, has moved to Qatar from Syria where he had to abandon his long-time base in Damascus.
Mashaal has said he has no plans to run for a third term in the position, though Hamas officials have been pressing for him to stay.
Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007, has completed its elections in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel’s prisons where thousands of Palestinians are jailed. But regional unrest forced it to delay the elections outside the Palestinian territories, including the polls for choosing the politburo members.