GAZA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, on Saturday slammed the decision of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to hold municipal elections in the West Bank only.
Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, told Xinhua that holding municipal elections in the West Bank only "is a clear violation to the reached reconciliation understandings and agreements."
"According to the reached deals, holding the municipal elections as well as the presidential, parliamentary and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) elections must be held as one package," said al-Bardaweel.
Division between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank ruled by PNA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah Party is still going on despite Arab and foreign mediation to end it.
"According to the reconciliation agreements, the elections must be held after ending division. Holding the municipal elections in the West Bank only shows clearly that division is not over yet," said al-Bardaweel.
Hamas called on Abbas and the PNA to get back to the signed agreements sponsored by Egypt, adding "Egypt determines to observe the implementation of the agreements as Egyptian President Mohamed Mosri has pledged."
The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announced Saturday the race for municipal elections is opened for those who want to run. The elections for the West Bank municipal councils will be held on Oct. 20.
Municipal elections had not been held since 2005. The PNA said that it will be held this year only in the West Bank "because Hamas movement refuses holding it or holding any elections in the Gaza Strip."