Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 14:47 UK

Hamas leader Meshaal re-elected

Hamas supporters
A select few Hamas members voted to re-elect their leader

The Palestinian militant Hamas movement has re-elected its political leader Khaled Meshaal in a secret vote conducted over the past few days.

It is believed about 50 senior members of Hamas took part in the vote, from Israeli jails, Palestinian territories and elsewhere.

Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006 and took over the Gaza Strip from it rival Fatah the following year.

There was no word of any significant challenge to Mr Meshaal's leadership.

However, Israel's offensive against Gaza this year did expose differences within the organisation, the BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Ramallah says.

Mr Meshaal, who is based in Syria, described the conflict as a great victory, reportedly angering Hamas leaders in Gaza, who felt the comments showed he was out of touch.

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