Hamas to ban Palestinian elections in Gaza
The Hamas-run interior ministry in the Gaza Strip declared on Wednesday that it will ban the organisation of elections called by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas. "The ministry will hold accountable anyone involved in the elections," the interior ministry said in a statement. The ministry "rejects the holding of elections in the Gaza Strip because they were announced by someone who has no right to make such an announcement and because they came without national agreement," it added, according to AFP.
Abbas has issued a decree ordering elections in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a senior Hamas figure in the Strip, stated Tuesday that Abbas called for the elections because he does not want to be an illegitimate chief of the Palestinian Authority and because he wants to remain recognized by the American administration and other Western countries. In a press statement to Safa news agency, Zahhar stressed that holding elections in the West Bank would not reflect the opinion of the Palestinian street especially since the West Bank is controlled by the Israeli occupation forces and Abbas’ militias.