GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Two senior Hamas officials say the Islamic militant movement's supreme leader, Khaled Mashaal, has announced he will resign.
Izzat Risheq, a confidant of Mashaal, told The Associated Press on Monday that Mashaal told a Hamas leadership meeting in Cairo that he will not run in elections for chairman of the group's politburo. Mashaal will remain in his post until elections are completed, likely by the end of the year.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, Maashal's deputy, also confirmed the move.
Hamas officials say Abu Marzouk and the prime minister of Hamas' government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, are the leading contenders to replace him.
Mashaal has led Hamas since 1996.
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