Sun, 24 Oct 2021

GAZA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), on Tuesday announced that they reject holding the municipal elections in the Palestinian territories scheduled on Dec. 11.

At a joint press conference held in Gaza City, they demanded the Palestinian Authority (PA) to abide by the previous agreement reached on holding the elections comprehensively, including presidential, legislative, and municipal elections.

"We reject the Palestinian Authority's call for holding the municipal elections partially," the factions said, adding that the municipal elections "serve narrow partisan and factional interests in favor of the PA at the expense of our people's interests and aspirations."

The factions also included the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian left-wing parties. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah ruling party did not join the press conference.

The statement of the factions' leaders also said that holding any election needs "a national consensus" and also "a proper climate for holding it in all the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem."

On Sept. 6, the Palestinian cabinet decided to hold the first phase of the municipal elections on Dec. 11 and the second phase in early January 2022.

According to the Palestinian cabinet decision, the municipal elections will include municipal councils of villages and towns located in the Area C, which is under complete Israeli control in the West Bank.

Official Palestinian figures show that there are 388 municipal councils in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The last municipal elections were held in May 2017, followed by supplementary local elections in July of the same year in the West Bank, but not in the Gaza Strip, which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.

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