The Palestinian Authority announced on Tuesday that it plans to hold municipal elections on July 9. Hamas responded by declaring that it won’t allow the vote to take place in the Gaza Strip.
Last week, in wake of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, PA officials announced that they would look into the possibility of holding local and general elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.RELATED:Hamas plans to boycott upcoming PA electionsHamas prisoner returns from Cairo to GazaGaza activist: Hamas stops pro-Egypt rally in Gaza
The PA cabinet, which held its weekly meeting in Ramallah, authorized the Palestinian Central Elections Committee to start preparing for the local elections.
The municipal elections were originally slated for June 2010, but were called off in the last minute due to differences with Hamas and within the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.
The last local elections saw Hamas candidates score major achievements in major West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus.
Hamas’s decision to boycott the elections means that they would take place only in the West Bank.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that elections couldn’t take place while the PA government was continuing its security crackdown on Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
He said that holding elections in the West Bank alone would “consolidate” divisions among Palestinians.