Prominent leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Mahmoud Zahar warned on Tuesday of ending a truce with Israel if the Jewish state disrupts the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections due on Jan. 25.
"If Israel interferes in the elections, then consequently, the current calmness will end," Zahar told reporters.
Thirteen major Palestinian factions including Hamas agreed upon a truce with Israel in Cairo on March 17. The calmness is expected to last till the end of this year.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced earlier that Israel would disrupt the coming polls in the occupied West Bank if Hamas, a radical militant group sworn to Israel's destruction, participates in the election race.
Sharon said the Israeli army would tighten security measures and leave the roadblocks in place in the West Bank and Jerusalem to prevent Palestinians from reaching voting stations.
Labelling Sharon's statements as "stupid", Zahar said Hamas would thwart Sharon's intention to disrupt the ballot by announcing the election day an official holiday to boost voting turnout.
"Israel's interference is a blunt intervention in the Palestinian internal affairs, which is totally rejected under all circumstances by all Palestinians," he warned.
Hamas, whose surging street popularity has rendered it a strong showing in the last municipal elections in the territories, is widely seen poised to fare well in the coming legislative elections.