RAMALLAH, West Bank, (AP) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says elections won’t be held by September as planned if the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers don’t allow balloting there.
Abbas’ West Bank-based government called the elections over the weekend, but Hamas has said Gaza would not take part.
Abbas told reporters Thursday that “unless we are capable of holding elections in both the West Bank and Gaza, then we will not hold elections.”
Abbas governs the West Bank but lost control of Gaza to the Islamic Hamas in a violent 2007 takeover.
The scheduling of the long-overdue vote was seen as a response to widespread Mideast protests against autocratic regimes that have toppled longtime dictators in Tunisia and Egypt.