Abbas announces he won’t run for re-election


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would not run for re-election.

In a live televised speech Thursday evening from his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas said he would not run in the elections he has called for January.

In response, a Hamas spokesman said Abbas’ decision not to seek re-election was a rebuke to his supporters, the Obama administration and the Israelis.

"We advise him to … face the Palestinian people and tell them frankly that the path of negotiations has failed. Halt negotiations with the occupation and take practical steps toward reconciliation," the spokesman said.

Hamas has said it does not recognize the upcoming elections and will not participate.

Abbas reportedly told White House officials late last month that he would not seek re-election because the peace process is not advancing. President Obama reportedly called Abbas personally in response.

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