Mesha'al Back In
"Khaled Meshaal is standing for re-election to lead Hamas four months after announcing he would step down.
"The decision is a setback for hardliners in the Islamist movement who have criticised Mr Meshaal's recent reforms, which include dismantling Hamas's headquarters in Damascus, reconciling with its Palestinian rival Fatah and tentatively embracing unarmed struggle against Israel...
"While (Mesha'al) has tried to bring Hamas closer to Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in Egypt, Tunisia and Qatar, hardliners inside the group have resisted. They see these changes as straying from Hamas's platform of resisting Israel and jeopardising ties with important allies. Tehran, a supplier of cash and, some say, weapons, is believed to have reduced its support to Hamas as punishment.
"The changes also have riled officials in Gaza. Unifying with Fatah is seen as a threat to their business and political interests in the Palestinian enclave, which Hamas captured from Fatah in 2007."