Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has postponed the first election in 15 years next month.

Abbas, who is in his 15th year of a 5 year term, announced on Thursday evening that he was postponing the election using a disagreement with Israel as an excuse as polls showed the Hamas terror group gaining strength.

“We decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed,” Abbas announced on Palestinian TV.

Israel has said it would not allow Palestinian voting to take place in Jerusalem, aware that doing so would give tacit acknowledgment of Palestinian control over parts of its capital.

The general elections for the Palestinian legislature were due to take place May 22 with an election to replace Abbas as president scheduled for July 31.

Whilst Abbas blamed Israel, Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, condemned Abbas for canceling the vote.

“This represents a coup against the path of partnership and national consensus,” Hamas said in a statement on its website. “Our popular and national consensus cannot be pawned as collateral for the agenda of a faction.”

Hamas said it was “holding Fatah and the Authority fully responsible for this decision and its repercussions.”

 

Former UN envoy for Bulgaria Nickolay Mladenov said, “There was no legitimate reason to cancel the Palestinian election. None! Denying your own people the right to elect their leaders is dangerous, wrong and it fatally damaging to your national cause. I call for this decision to be immediately reversed in the interest of Peace.”

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