A Hamas supporter shouts slogans during an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City, April 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
movement of Hamas says it will take part in local Palestinian elections,
ending its boycott of the ballot in favor of potential national
On Friday, the movement said it would
join the vote that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered to be
held across the Palestinian territories in October.
The movement had been boycotting the vote since 2007, when it rose to power in the coastal enclave.
by the Middle East Eye, Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesman, said, “We hope
that this election will help national reconciliation if we succeeded to
have transparent election as this could lay the foundation for the
general election in the future.”
“Once we have this election, this
might lead to a general election and national reconciliation. If we
succeed and everybody accepts the result, I think this is going to give
us a signal to the future election.”
Despite having signed a unity
deal with his rival Abbas-led Fatah Party, which is based in the Tel
Aviv-occupied West Bank, the two sides have failed to work efficiently
toward the goal of the agreement, namely the formation of a technocratic
“The movement recognizes the necessity and importance
of running local elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” Hamas,
however, said in a statement as it agreed to join the polls.