Abbas to set January 24 as election date

Abbas to set Jan. 24 as

abbas cairo 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
abbas cairo 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that he will set January 24 as the date for presidential and legislative elections, despite objections from Hamas. Speaking to journalists in Cairo, Abbas said that he will set the date in a decree on Sunday, though Hamas is seeking to delay the election. Abbas met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Tuesday, to discuss Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Earlier Tuesday, AFP quoted him as saying, "Fatah completely supported the Egyptian proposal... but then Hamas put down obstacles to achieving reconciliation." Abbas called on the Arab League to determine the party responsible for disrupting the Palestinian reconciliation efforts, and attacked Hamas for failing to sign an Egyptian-proposed unity agreement, according to Israel Radio. Israel Radio also reported that the PA president rejected a US offer made in New York to temporarily freeze Israeli settlement building which but which would not include Jerusalem and approximately 2,500 housing units, and reiterated that Israel must cease settlement construction before negotiations can resume.