Palestinian Authority local elections in October will only be held in Judea and Samaria because Hamas is preventing election preparations in
Gaza, an official PA statement issued in Ramallah said on Wednesday.
The statement means that the talk of unity between twin terror groups Hamas and Fatah is little more than a joke right now, as the two cannot even agree about local elections, much less so elections to select a unifying leader..
Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, a senior electoral official said the PA "government" had informed the Central Elections Commission (CEC) that the scope of the vote would be limited.
"The elections committee was informed today by the government that it had decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria – Ed.] on October 22," he said.
The Ramallah "government" confirmed the decision and said Hamas had blocked preparations for the October vote in Gaza.
"We condemn Hamas for preventing the Central Elections Committee from fulfilling its mission in Gaza according to the law, which makes holding elections there within the limited time left unrealizable," it said. "The government has decided to hold the municipal elections at the scheduled date in the northern governorates," it said, referring to Judea and Samaria.
"Until now, Hamas has prevented the elections committee from doing its work in Gaza. Our staff cannot work because our offices are closed and they have confiscated our cars," the official who spoke to AFP contended.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri blamed Fatah for going back on its pledge to reform the CEC under terms of a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah in May. "The Central Election Commission should be formed by consensus among the Palestinian factions under the reconciliation agreement in Cairo," he said. "This commission has no authority to hold elections as Hamas was not consulted and it is perfectly normal that we do not agree to cooperate with it."