Hamas to Boycott PA Elections

Hamas has announced that it would boycott Palestinian municipal elections in the occupied West Bank.

Hamas has said that the presence of PA security forces, who collaborate with the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, does not create a proper atmosphere for holding fair elections, a Press TV correspondent reported from Gaza.

The government of acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas has decided to hold municipal elections in the West Bank after they were cancelled last June.

The cancellation came after Hamas boycotted the elections, which sparked concerns that the vote would be deemed illegitimate by the international community.

The PA said on Tuesday that date for local elections would be determined during next week’s legislative session.

But Hamas, which won a sweeping victory in several cities in the last local elections in 2004 and 2005, rejected any kind of plebiscites before reaching a reconciliation deal with rival Fatah party.

Hamas said that PA officials are trying to distract public attention from revelations of the secret talks with Israel and a US proposal for the transfer of Palestinian refugees to South America instead of their homes in the occupied West Bank.

The leaked “Palestine Papers” have sparked an outrage and a political storm that left Palestinian people disappointed.

In recent weeks, the Gaza Strip has witnessd demonstrations against the Palestinian Authority for its concessions to Israel on East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the refugees’ right to return.

Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine has also said that it too would boycott the PA poll, arguing that holding elections before a national reconciliation is not acceptable.

Meanwhile, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a member of the Ramallah-based Palestine Liberation Organization, has welcomed the elections.

Observers believe that the boycott issue is yet another sign of deepening rift between the rival Palestinian parties of Hamas and Fatah.

(Press TV)

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