Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil confirmed that Hamas's leader in exile Khaled Mashaal has decided not to run for re-election, but will remain a member of the Islamist group, Palestinian new agency Ma'an reported Sunday.

"When Mashaal said he was not seeking re-election, a message was sent to him from the movement’s leaders unanimously asking him to change his mind," Bardawil told Ma'an.

Earlier Sunday, political and diplomatic sources said that Mashaal is tired of policy challenges from the Islamist group's Gaza-based leadership and is not seeking re-election in a vote now underway.

Reuters contributed to this report

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