World, Middle East

Palestine govt calls for holding Gaza polls in October

Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, has yet to comment on announcement

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 30.05.2017
Palestine govt calls for holding Gaza polls in October FILE PHOTO - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (C)


By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine

 The West Bank-based Palestinian government on Tuesday announced a decision to hold local polls in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in mid-October.

The announcement came in a government statement released following a weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah in Ramallah, the government’s administrative capital.

According to the statement, the government has tasked Local Government Minister Hussein al-Araj with making arrangements for the upcoming polls in coordination with Palestine’s official electoral commission.

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, for its part, which has governed the blockaded Gaza Strip since 2007, has yet to comment on the announcement.

On May 13, Hamas boycotted local elections held in the West Bank, saying polls should be postponed until longstanding differences between it and the rival Fatah movement -- which runs the Ramallah-based government -- are resolved.

The two Palestinian movements have remained bitter rivals since 2007, when Hamas wrested the Gaza Strip from Fatah after several days of fierce street fighting.

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