Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has said he will not seek re-election, despite a call for him to reconsider from the Palestinian militant group's senior leadership.
A statement from the group Saturday announced Mashaal's intentions to step down and said senior leaders are urging him to reconsider.
The statement said no one person should decide who leads Hamas, not even the leader himself. It said the decision should be left to the group's ruling Shura Council.
Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and has refused to recognize Israel. Its militant wing regularly conducts deadly attacks across the Gaza-Israel border.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.