The Korea Herald


Palestinian court orders local elections only in West Bank

By 김다솔

Published : Oct. 3, 2016 - 21:18

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RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) -- The Palestinian high court on Monday ordered municipal elections to be held only in the West Bank and not in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, though a new date for the suspended polls was not set.

The ruling could bring to an end hopes that the municipal elections would be the first polls since 2006 in which both Islamist movement Hamas and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah, which runs the West Bank, would participate.

"The court orders the implementation of the government's decision on the holding of local elections," court president Hisham al-Hatoo ruled before a packed courtroom in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He said however the judiciary in Gaza did not have necessary "guarantees"  in place for the holding of the polls.

The elections had initially been set for October 8.

On September 8, the court suspended the polls following disputes between Fatah and Hamas over candidate lists.

Hamas immediately dismissed Monday's decision as "political".

"The high court's decision on the elections is discriminatory and ratifies the division" between Gaza and the West Bank, it said in a statement.