Wang Guanqun
February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Islamic Hamas movement on Wednesday said it boycotts any local elections as long as split in the Palestinian territories remains in place.

A statement by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, rejected the West Bank-based government's announcement that municipal elections would be held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the statement described the government, led by Salam Fayyad, as "illegal," adding that the elections "will be null and their results unrecognized if they were held without agreement and under the split."

The split widened in 2007, when Hamas, which won the parliamentary elections in 2006, routed forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas and took over Gaza.

The municipal elections were due in July 2010 and were due to be held only in the West Bank after Hamas banned the Central Elections Commission's staff from working in Gaza.

Fayyad's government yesterday said that the elections would be held "as soon as possible" in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Hamas wants the elections to be a result of a power-sharing agreement with Abbas' Fatah party as part of a broader reconciliation pact.


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