In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Maan, an official with the Islamist group said that the Hamas' Codex states that the Politburo chief can serve only two consecutive terms.
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According to the source, Deputy Hamas Politburo Chief Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk has been marked as Mashaal's likely successor.
Mashaal (56) has been serving as Hamas Politburo chief since 1996. He survived an Israeli assassination attempt in Jordan in 1997 and has since been running Hamas from the group's Damascus headquarters.
Mashaal's recent decision to suspend Hamas' armed resistance vis-à-vis Israel was heavily criticized by some of the more radical elements in Hamas, like top Politburo delegate in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar.
It is believed that those in Hamas who are unhappy with Mashaal's "pragmatism" are campaigning against him.
Maan's source also doubted the viability of the fledgling reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, saying that despite both parties' best intentions it was unlikely that they would be able to overcome their inherent distrust of each other.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: email@example.com
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