Hamas To Run in 'Palestinian President' Elections

Senior Hamas figure says his group will submit a candidate, potentially take a position of control, in unity elections.

Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar ,

Khalil al-Hayya (r) with Fatah's Nabil Shaath
Khalil al-Hayya (r) with Fatah's Nabil Shaath
Flash 90

The reconciliation deal between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction last Wednesday may place Hamas in a position of control, according to a Hamas leader.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas figure and member of the Hamas parliament, told the Arab news channel Al-Khuttab that Hamas leadership decided to take part in the coming elections for "Palestinian president."

The participation would be conducted either by presenting an official Hamas candidate, or by supporting a national candidate who presumably would identify with Hamas.

Hayya added that Hamas wants to hold presidential elections after the PA's parliamentary elections are held, representing the "inner Palestinians" of Judea and Samaria, as well as for the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) "Palestinian National Council," representing "all of the Palestinian nation."

The Hamas leader added that his group is prepared to reach understandings with Fatah and the rest of the related organizations in selecting the next prime minister, should Abbas choose not to take the post for himself.

Abbas has already threatened numerous times in recent weeks to dismantle the PA, in an attempt to pressure Israel to concede to his demands to extend the peace talks, making statements to the effect that he was ready to step down.

Hayya last November threatened Israel with genocide saying "we shall expel you from our land, we will fight on it against you, and we will either kill you or expel you from it after you surrender.”