Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Palestinian municipal elections in West Bank only

Palestinian local elections scheduled for May will take place in the West Bank only and not in Gaza, the government announced Tuesday, scuppering hopes of the first vote in both territories in a decade. The Palestinian Authority, run by president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, sits in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, while Hamas controls Gaza. The rival parties have not competed in an election since parliamentary polls in 2006 – which Hamas won – sparking a conflict that led to near civil war in Gaza the following year. “[We will] hold the municipal elections in the West Bank on May 13 and postpone them in the Gaza Strip,” Tarek Rishmawi, spokesman for the government in Ramallah, said. He did not give a date for elections in Gaza. Hamas said the announcement reinforced the “division” between factions and “serves Fatah’s political interests.” 

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