Childhood & Early Life
Khaled Meshaal was born in Silwad, when Palestine was occupied by Jordan, on May 28, 1956.
Till 1967, the young boy pursued his primary education from the 'Silwad Elementary School', after which the family shifted to Kuwait, owing to monetary constraints.
In 1971, Khaled became a member of the 'Muslim Brotherhood', an Islamist Organization formed in Egypt.
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He graduated in Physics from the 'Kuwait University', in 1978. The same year he was appointed as a teacher at the university.
In 1980, Meshaal formed the 'al-rabita al-islamiyya li talabat filastin' ('Islamic league for Palestinian Students'), and continued to work as a teacher in Kuwait for the next four years.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin co-established the Islamic resistance movement called 'Hamas', in 1987, which Meshaal joined and the latter started heading the branch in Kuwait. Khaled also served as a representative of the ‘Political Bureau of Hamas’ from the time of its formation.
After Iraq attacked Kuwait in the Gulf War of 1991, the bureaucrat shifted to Jordan, and began working for 'Hamas'. Five years later, he was appointed as the Chairman of the organization.
On September 25 1997, agents of the Israeli intelligence organization, 'Mossad', pretended to be tourists from Canada, and attempted to murder the ‘Hamas’ leader by spraying poison into his ears. This assassination attempt, carried out under the orders of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu failed, and the Israeli special agents were arrested.
After King Abdullah of Jordan threatened to sever relationships between Israel and his country, Netanyahu sent the antidote for the poison, thus saving Khaled's life.
In 1999, King Abdullah alleged that ‘Hamas’ was only a means of spoiling the cordial relationships that Israel and Jordan had, and leaders of the organization, like Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzook, amongst others, were promptly arrested.
They were accused of illegal activities, including fund collection methods and the possession of arms. He was forced to move to Qatar, but later settled in Damascus, Syria in 2001.
On March 22, 2004, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was assassinated by Israeli forces and Dr Abdel Aziz Rantisi was named as the next spiritual leader of 'Hamas'. Within a month the latter was also killed in attacks by Israeli aircrafts, resulting in the election of Khaled as the head of the organization.
In 2006, ‘Hamas’ won the parliamentary elections in Palestine by a majority of votes, against the ‘Fatah’ political party. The next year, members of both political organizations fought for almost a week and finally Khaled’s party gained control of the Gaza Strip in Palestine.
In 2008, he was visited by former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, who tried to negotiate the formation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, near Jordan and Israel.
In 2011, President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas met Khaled and signed a peace treaty between 'Hamas' and 'Fatah'.
When the ‘Syrian Civil War’ broke out, ‘Hamas’ had a major role to play against the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. In the face of the ensuing riots, Khaled escaped from the branch of ‘Hamas’ in Damascus.
Meshaal visited Jordan in 2012, along with Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Crown Prince of Qatar, to meet King Abdullah. The same year, the former travelled to Doha, the capital of Qatar, and settled down there. In December he visited Gaza and promised to free Jerusalem, which is considered by both Palestine and Israel as their capital.
In 2013, Khaled was once again chosen by the members of ‘Hamas’ as the chairman of its political bureau. The next year Israel attacked Gaza in what is called ‘Operation Protective Edge’, and almost three thousand people were killed in the war.