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Hamas elects Haniyeh as new political chief: spokesman

GAZA CITY: The Palestinian movement Hamas elected Ismail Haniyeh to lead its political office on Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters in Gaza. Former deputy chief Haniyeh will replace Qatar-based veteran leader Khaled Meshaal, who steps down at the end of his term limit just as Hamas softened its stance toward Israel in a new policy document last week. The group maintains a sizeable armed wing in the Gaza strip since seizing the coastal territory in 2007 from the rival Fatah party based in the West Bank…