Islamic Hamas movement announced Thursday that it is ready to join general and comprehensive elections in the Palestinian territories.
Hamas’ remarks were made after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly, where he announced he intends to hold Palestinian elections as soon as he returns to the West Bank.
“In the light of Abbas intentions to call for holding the elections as soon as he gets back to the West Bank, we announce our readiness to join comprehensive and general elections,” Hamas said in an emailed press statement.
Hamas’ statement went on saying that it decided to join the elections in accordance with the need of unifying the efforts to face the current dangerous challenges, mainly the Deal of the Century, a U.S. peace plan for the region.
“Abbas’ speech before the UN General Assembly expressed the rejection to the policies of the Israeli occupation and its ongoing crimes and the clear biased policies of the United States,” said the statement.
However, it added that “he (Abbas) kept sticking to the so-called peace process and the illusion of negotiations with Israel.”
In his speech, Abbas called on the UN and other foreign parties to supervise and observe holding the general elections in the Palestinian territories, adding “those who block holding the elections will be fully responsible.”
The last presidential elections were held in 2005 and the parliamentary elections were held in 2006. Abbas was elected as the president of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas won the parliamentary election.
However, Hamas-dominant parliament remained inoperative since the beginning of the internal Palestinian split that started when the Islamic movement had seized control of the Gaza Strip and routed Abbas security forces in 2007.