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Tension mounts ahead of Palestinian poll

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Tension mounts ahead of Palestinian poll


Palestinians are complaining Israel is not sticking to its promise of easing its military grip on the territory ahead of tomorrow’s presidential election.

Israel apparently asked former US President Jimmy Carter to warn Palestinians it could renege on its offer after militants killed one of its soldiers. Carter is in the region heading a team of international election monitors to observe the poll. He met with the frontrunner in the vote, Mahmoud Abbas. There are fears violence could flare if Israeli blockades prevent voters from reaching the polling booths set up across Gaza and the West Bank. In a sign that nerves are already fraying two Spanish journalists were briefly held by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza who suspected they were working for Israeli secret services. The prospect of Abbas’s leadership has revived peace hopes for the region, he is a moderate politician who has vowed to rein in militants. Though highly tipped to win, analysts say the support gained by the six other candidates is significant as it will help reveal the political landscape across the Palestinian territories.
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