Palestinian elections will not be held in the West Bank if Hamas refuses to allow voters to participate in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said during a visit to Lebanon on Tuesday. "If Hamas persists in its refusal to allow the elections to take place in Gaza, I will not agree to the vote in the West Bank," Abbas was quoted as saying by AFP.
Abbas said that he is determined not to stand for re-election as president. "I have not changed my mind and this decision is neither a manoeuvre, nor a tactic nor a joke," he said. According to him, the central council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation will meet on December 15 to decide on the elections.
"We want reconciliation, we don't want the Palestinian people to remain divided," Abbas said.