Roundup: Hamas officials head for Egypt over holding elections in Palestine

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-06 22:37:35|Editor: yan
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GAZA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement's officials headed for Cairo on Wednesday to brief Egypt on their position on holding general elections in the Palestinian territories, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza said.

Hazem Qassem said in an emailed press statement that the aim of Hamas delegation's visit to Cairo "is to brief our Egyptian brothers on Hamas position on holding the general elections."

"Hamas delegation will tell the Egyptian side that it is serious to make the electoral process successful and shows true flexibility to finalize holding it in the Palestinian territories," said Qassem.

He also said that after visiting Cairo, Hamas delegation will visit several states "to recruit the needed support to the Palestinian cause and boost our people's steadfastness."

On Tuesday, Hamas leaders and Central Elections Commission (CEC) Chairman Hanna Nasser resumed their dialogue on holding general elections in the Palestinian territories.

Nasser arrived in the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday, the third in 10 days, to hand over a letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Hamas and other Gaza-factions leaders, according to Voice of Palestine Radio.

Abbas wants Hamas and other Gaza factions to sign on his letter that Nasser carried, said the radio, adding that in case the factions sign on his letter, Abbas will issue a decree setting up a date for holding the elections.

Sabri Seidam, a member of Fatah central committee, told the radio that "President Abbas' letter or paper demands the political commitment of Hamas and the factions in Gaza to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

The PLO recognized the state of Israel and has signed a series of peace agreements with Israel in 1993 that led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

Hamas movement and other factions, like the Islamic Jihad, refused to recognize Israel, or the signed peace agreements.

The United States and Israel have imposed an embargo on Hamas movement, which won the last parliamentary elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2006.

Meanwhile, Maher Mezher, a senior leader of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told Xinhua that Abbas refuses to hold a broader national meeting before issuing his decree.

Eight Palestinian factions had asked Nasser to convey to Abbas that the factions look forward to convening a national factional conference before holding the elections.

In the letter of Abbas to the factions, the president asked the factions just to sign on his conditions for holding the elections and ignored their demands for convening a factional conference to agree on holding the elections.

"This means that again we are getting into a new dark tunnel and a new maze," said Mezher, noting that his group is one of the eight factions that were demanded by Abbas to sign on the letter.

Fatah on Wednesday refused a request by Gaza-based political factions to hold a meeting between political parties before Abbas announces a presidential decree for general elections.

Majed Fityani, Fatah's revolutionary council secretary general, told Xinhua that "holding a dialogue between the political factions before the presidential decree would open doors for disagreements or allow a particular party to stand behind a pretext to invite obstacles in the path of elections."

He said that Fatah "supports the dialogue after the presidential decree for elections."

Last parliamentary elections were held in the Palestinian territories in 2006, where Hamas, ruler of Gaza, won a majority while Abbas was elected the Palestinian president in 2005.

Hamas and Fatah have exchanged accusations of impeding the new elections, amid fears that Israel will not allow elections to be held in East Jerusalem.