Hamas, Fatah agree to hold elections


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah reportedly have agreed to hold new parliamentary and presidential elections.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal are scheduled to meet this weekend in Cairo to set a date for the elections to be held in May.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad paved the way to the elections when he agreed to step down in order to achieve Palestinian unity. Hamas has objected to the presence of Fayyad, who is well respected by the international community, in the government.

Abbas has said he will not seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family.

The Fatah party, led by Abbas, runs the West Bank. Hamas runs the Gaza Strip.

The leaders have agreed to form a caretaker government until elections can be held. Fayyad will not be part of he caretaker government, Haaretz reported.

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