The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday announced it planned to hold local elections in October in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, angering Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers.
"The Palestinian cabinet approved during its meeting today ... conducting local elections on 20 October 2012 in all local councils in the homeland," The PA said in a statement.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded: "Hamas regards this unilateral step as undermining reconciliation and a decision of escalation that would further complicate the file of reconciliation and therefore, Hamas holds the Fatah movement responsible for the consequences that may result."
Hamas and Fatah, which is dominant in the West Bank, have been enemies since they fought a brief civil war in 2007, leaving Hamas in control of Gaza and splitting the Palestinians geographically and politically.
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