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Islamic Jihad says not to participate in general elections
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-15 02:10:06

    GAZA, Nov. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The Islamic Jihad (Holy War) said on Monday that it would not participate in presidential or parliamentary elections due in January.     

    "We will only participate in municipal elections, but participating in presidential and parliamentary elections would only be decided after declaring an independent state of Palestine,"Khaled Al Batsh, a senior Jihad leader said at a meeting held between Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Mahmoud Abbas and representatives of 13 factions.

    Al Batsh said that the meeting discussed strengthening national unity, and "the possibility for a political partnership and studying the era after late leader Yasser Arafat."

    When asked about declaring a ceasefire and the cessation of attacks against Israel, Al Batsh said "if Israel stops its attacks on the Palestinian people, the Islamic Jihad would stop its attacks against Israel."

    "No Hudna (ceasefire) with the occupation forces unless the occupation forces carry out practical steps to stop all actions of assassinations, incursions and destruction," said al Batsh."The Islamic Jihad would respect a ceasefire if Israel stops its military actions," he said, adding that "this can only be achieved through an Arab or foreign mediator." Enditem

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