Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’s current deputy leader-in-exile, is set to take over the leadership from Khaled Mashaal, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat Monday.
Mashaal, who has led Hamas-in-exile since 1996 and chaired the Hamas political bureau, has not sought reelection in polling that has been under way for the past five months.
Another British-based newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, said Mashaal had decided to step down because of disagreements within the movement.
Another candidate who might serve as a backup for Abu Marzouk as replacement to Mashaal, according to Al-Hayat, is the current prime minister of Hamas-controlled Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.
In February, Arab affairs commentator Ehud Yaari wrote in The Times of Israel that Hamas was deeply divided over Mashaal’s leadership, and struggling to adjust to Arab Spring-prompted changes in the Middle East.