Palestinian factions agree to hold general elections by end of 2018

ANI | Updated: Nov 23, 2017 06:22 IST

Cairo [Egypt], November 23 (ANI): Following the talks in Cairo, the Palestinian factions, including rival groups Hamas and Fatah, have agreed to hold a general election by the end of 2018.

The call for elections was made in a joint statement at the end of two days of closed-door talks in Cairo attended by representatives of 13 leading political parties, several media reports said.

According to the statement, the factions deferred the choice of a final date for the elections to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Egyptian-sponsored agreement is aimed at ending the 10-year rift between them, and calls on Hamas to cede power in the Gaza Strip to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) by December 1, ending 10 years of Hamas rule over the enclave.

Hamas and Fatah had signed a reconciliation deal in October after the former agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza.

However, Hamas still remains in control of security in the Gaza Strip. In addition, it appointed a number of its own government officials.

The Palestinian Authority has been accused of avoiding its commitments to reconciliation by Hamas simultaneously.

Abbas said previously he would lift the sanctions upon assuming control of Gaza.

According to the reports, the last Palestinian parliamentary elections were in 2006 and there have been no presidential elections since 2005. (ANI)