October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Hamas is considering appointing Moussa Abu Marzouk, currently deputy head of the Hamas politburo, to replace Khaled Mashaal as the movement's chief, sources said Wednesday.

The Shurra council of Hamas, the Islamic Palestinian movement that rules the Gaza Strip, made the decision to appoint Abu Marzouk after a series of meetings in Cairo last week, the sources said.

The council also appointed Ismail Haneya, Hamas' prime minister in Gaza, as a deputy of Marzouk, the sources added.

Abu Marzouk has been Mashaal's deputy for more than a decade.

Hamas reshuffles its leadership every four years or more and holds secretive elections among its senior members. The elections are held in the Palestinian territories, Israeli prisons, as well as Arab countries with Palestinian refugee camps.

Hamas keeps the identities of its elected leadership undisclosed, but releases the names of some members of the politburo.

Mashaal said recently that he did not want to continue as chief of the Hamas political bureau.

Mashaal has apparently been unable to stay in his position because he has left his longtime base in Damascus and has been moving since then between Egypt and Qatar. He mostly stays in Qatar, where he is not allowed to practice political activities, according to the sources.


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