It contributes to political turbulence within Hamas, which has recently faced a slew of criticism for continuing to be based in Damascus as the Syrian government violently cracks down on demonstrators throughout the country.
In the statement from Hamas' official e-mail account, the Palestinian group urged him to reconsider his decision, saying the issue of who leads the decades-old militant movement should be left to Hamas. The group says the decision shouldn't be made by one person, even its leader.
"The movement urges [Meshaal] to reconsider, and to leave this issue to the Shura Council, with full respect to his wishes [not to run again], considering this is a public matter that the Hamas institutions should decide, and not an individual person," the statement said. The Shura Council is the top-level body in Hamas that elects its leadership.
I can add that there is some speculation that a difference in opinion on the issue of armed struggle is behind Meshaal's decision. It is thought that Meshaal is in favour of shifting the emphasis towards popular resistance, whereas the Gaza leadership does not want to give up completely on the armed struggle.