Hamas: Leader Khaled Mashaal Won't Seek New Term

Published January 21, 2012 8:09AM (EST)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Islamic militant group Hamas says in a statement that their chief, Khaled Mashaal, won't seek re-election.

The Palestinian group urges him to reconsider his decision, saying the issue of who leads the decades-old militant movement should be left to Hamas institutions. Hamas says the decision shouldn't be made by one person — even its leader.

The group issued the statement Saturday to reporters via e-mail.

Mashaal, who is based in Damascus, was not immediately available for comment.

It is not clear when Hamas would conduct new, internal elections. The militant group elects leaders through a body it calls the Shura Council.

By Salon Staff

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