Palestinian local election set for May, likely without Gaza

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 31, 2017 7:58 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian self-rule government in the West Bank has set May 13 as a new date for municipal elections after infighting between Hamas and Fatah groups derailed such a vote last year.

The elections will likely only take place in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement run autonomous enclaves.

The Islamic militant Hamas is unlikely to permit voting in the Gaza Strip, which it seized in a violent 2007 takeover.

Hamas' spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says the group rejects Tuesday's decision by the West Bank-based Fatah on the new election date.

Hamas sat out local elections in 2012. The last general election, with both Hamas and Fatah competing, took place in 2006.

Since then, their rivalry has prevented new general elections.