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.

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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