The president of the embattled Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has call for early elections in a widely anticipated speech in Ramallah. The ruling Hamas has rejected the president’s call. In his speech broadcast live on Palestine TV, Abbas added that in the interim period all efforts should be made to form a unity government.
He said a political solution was needed to resolve internal Palestinian violence which is at its worst in a decade raising fears of civil war. Abbas blamed Hamas for the crisis, saying it had refused to meet international demands to recognise the state of Israel and renounce violence, leading to crippling sanctions from the West and internal political deadlock.
The president also denied there had been any conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh after his convoy came under attack earlier this week. Dozens of Hamas supporters were wounded on Friday when Fatah forces opened fire on protestors in Ramallah. Gunbattles between the two factions also erupted in Gaza.