Ma'an News Agency
February 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The cabinet of the Ramallah-based government decided on Monday to hold municipal and local elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on 17 July 2010.

Directives were given to the Palestinian Central Elections Committee to begin preparations.

During its weekly meeting in Ramallah, the cabinet of the caretaker government stressed in a post-meeting statement that "completion of this democratic process is considered a basic component of the PA's agenda set to complete building institutions of the Palestinian state. This is also part of maintaining good governance principles in Palestine."

The cabinet condemned Israel's operation in Shufat refugee camp hours earlier, which left several residents and Israeli forces injured, in addition to violence directed against local and international anti-wall activists.

Ministers applauded Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath for his "courageous" decision to visit the Gaza Strip and meet with Hamas leaders there. The cabinet described the move as an attempt to change the political atmosphere and achieve national unity.

The Fatah-dominated cabinet also called on Hamas to respond positively so Sha'ath's visit by signing the Egyptian reconciliation document, which urges an end to two years of political and territorial division.


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