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Abbas says he is soon to call for elections in the territories
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08:54, December 17, 2008

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday that he will soon call for holding presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories.

Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that he will soon call for holding the elections in West Bank and Gaza Strip, adding that "we believe it is necessary to resume the dialogue and we call on Egypt to follow it up."

Earlier Tuesday, the Saudi Arabian London-based daily of al-Hayyat quoted sources close to Abbas as saying that the presidential and legislative elections will be held at the same time in the Palestinian territories in April 2009.

The sources said that Abbas is intending to issue soon a presidential decree calling on the Palestinians to prepare for early presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories in April next year.

Abbas added to reporters that the dialogue was supposed to be held in Cairo on November 10, "but Hamas at the last moment decided not to join the dialogue without expressing convincing reasons for that."

Meanwhile, Abbas called on all parties, Israel and Gaza militant groups to be committed to the lull in Gaza Strip, adding that "the Tahde'a is an interests for everyone and violating it would double our people's suffering."

Hamas insists that the presidential term of Abbas would end on January 9, adding that after this date Abbas won't be the president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

Hamas said it would nominate jailed speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Dweik, who was sent to three years imprisonment in Israeli jail as a transitional president until the presidential elections are held.

Also on December 19, a six-month truth in the Gaza Strip brokered by Egypt between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza militant groups would end, without any news on renewing it.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar in Gaza told reporters earlier that the Palestinians would only renew the truce with Israel, if the latter changes the terms of the truce and keep Gaza Strip crossings open.


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