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Mashaal to meet Jordan king, sources say

Jan. 28, 2013 2:00 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 28, 2013 8:54 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas' chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal will meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Monday, Jordanian sources said.

Senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishiq told Ma'an Sunday that Mashaal had arrived in Amman for an official visit to Jordan, without providing further details.

Jordanian sources told Ma'an that the Hamas chief is expected to discuss Palestinian reconciliation with the Jordanian king and other officials.

Mashaal visited Jordan several times in 2012 to discuss reconciliation and other bilateral issues, amid years of uneasy relations with the Hashemite Kingdom.

In 1997, Israeli Mossad agents tried to assassinate Mashaal in the Jordanian capital, but were caught by Jordanian police after injecting the Hamas chief with poison in the street.

The attack so enraged Jordan's late King Hussein that he talked of hanging the captured Israeli would-be-assassins unless the antidote was handed over. An embarrassed Israeli government complied.

Mashaal, a Jordanian citizen, was then deported to Qatar after a crackdown by security forces on the movement in 1999 amid charges it harmed Jordanian national interests.
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