Hamas rejects call for early Palestinian polls

By Xinhua

Gaza : Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) senior leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said here Tuesday his movement rejected the call for early legislative elections in the Palestinian territories.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday called on the Hamas movement to end its control of the Gaza Strip and agree to early elections in the Palestinian territories to put an end to the internal crisis that killed hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the past year.

“Abu Mazen (President Abbas) didn’t present any new initiative, he was repeating earlier initiative that contains a resumption of the dialogue with preconditions,” al-Zahar told journalists here.

“We are ready for unconditional dialogue. If we sit at the same table, each side has the right to present what it has, and each side has the right to reject or accept what the other presents,” said al-Zahar.

He suggested that both parties “should first end all kinds of incitement, and use the mass media for rebuilding confidence and calling for national unity”.

There was no immediate response from Abbas’ group to al-Zahar’s suggestion. However, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Fatah movement’s spokesman in the West Bank, called Hamas movement “a criminal movement that kills its people in cold blood.”

Clashes between Fatah supporters and Hamas police forces left eight people killed and over 30 wounded in the Gaza Strip overnight and early Tuesday.