Palestinian shot dead as Abbas urges Hamas to become political organization
Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian at a roadblock near the city of Tulkarem in the West Bank, Israel's Army Radio reported Monday. According to this report, the man approached soldiers standing at the roadblock holding a knife in his hand.
Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said summer elections will be held as scheduled amid speculations Hamas would post gains. Abbas made his remarks in Japan, where he is seeking to cement financial backing from the world's second largest economy for a future Palestinian state.
"July 17 parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned," Abbas told the Japanese newspaper the Mainichi Shimbun. He urged Hamas to be engaged into mainstream politics. "It's possible they could become a political organization in the future," Abbas was quoted as saying.
Asked about Hamas' arsenal, Abbas said: "At this stage demilitarization has yet to take place, but I would like to make efforts for that to happen."