Palestinian president Abbas says he will discuss new elections with Hamas
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longtime rivals Hamas.
Meeting with senior Palestinian leaders in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Abbas renewed a pledge to hold the polls - the first since 2006 - but without giving a timeframe, AFP said.
In a speech two weeks ago in New York at the UN General Assembly, Abbas said: "I have decided, upon my return from this international gathering, to announce a date for the holding of general elections in Palestine - in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip," according to Haaretz.
He said on Sunday that Palestinian leaders had formed committees to "communicate with the election commission and factions such as Hamas and all factions, as well as with the Israeli authorities".
He said any elections should take place in "the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip".
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2006, when Hamas won legislative elections whose results were contested by Fatah, the longtime ruling party of the PA.
Conflict broke out between the two parties, and in 2007 Hamas seized Gaza and threw out Fatah forces from the small enclave. Fatah until now retains control of the internationally recognised PA government based in the occupied West Bank.
No parliamentary elections have been held since 2006, with the two sides trading blame.
Multiple attempts at reconciliation have failed and analysts say new elections are impossible without improved relations.
Hamas said in a statement on Saturday it didn't "know what Abu Mazen means by general election", using the common nickname for Abbas.
The movement said it had already committed itself to elections.
Abbas has previously pledged on multiple occasions to hold elections but without following through.