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PA Postpones Local Vote until October

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TEHRAN, May 17 (ICANA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) has said that it postponed until October 22 the first local elections since the signing of a unity deal between Hamas and Fatah factions.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:47:03 PM
PA Postpones Local Vote until October

PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said on Tuesday the delay in the vote scheduled for July came because time is needed for electoral preparations both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Reuters reported.

The two movements signed a unity agreement in the Egyptian capital of Cairo earlier this month.

They vowed to establish an interim unity government and hold presidential and legislative elections within a year.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Gaza-based Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.

Following Hamas's election victory, Fatah set up headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, thus limiting governance by Hamas to the Gaza Strip, a comparably smaller portion of Palestinian territories.

The local elections will be held after September, when acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas has said he will ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state.

In a New York Times op-ed on Monday, Abbas said that the US has failed to stop Israeli settlement expansions in the West Bank.

"We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem (al-Quds)," he wrote, adding that "neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel's settlement program."

Abbas also called on "all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations."

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