Palestinian census back on track after Hamas objections overcome

The Palestinian census, called off in Gaza last month, is back on track after assurances from international agencies, Hamas officials said Tuesday. At first Hamas agreed to cooperate with the census, the first in a decade, ion parallel with a count by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' rival government in the West Bank. But after accusing the surveyors of violating an agreement to share data with Hamas, Hamas officials shut down the Gaza census office. "The census is back on," said Taher Nunu, Hamas government spokesman, on Tuesday. "We were reassured on some issues, including the nature of the data collected." Nunu said mediators, including UN officials, have provided "guarantees," refusing to elaborate.