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October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas-run interior ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday that it would ban the holding of elections called for by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the coastal territory.

"The ministry will hold accountable anyone involved in the elections," the interior ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that it "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."

Last week Abbas called for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on January 24 after Hamas declined to sign on to an Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement that was inked by his secular Fatah party.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017