GAZA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The second largest Islamist group in the Gaza Strip said Sunday it was studying running in Palestinian general elections after firmly boycotting all previous polls.
"Our clear positions do not prevent us from holding a debate inside the movement to study recent developments, including the possibility of running in the upcoming elections," Nafez Azzam, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad movement, told Xinhua.
A final decision to stand in parliamentary polls is not yet made, he stressed. The Islamic Jihad opposes the 1993 Oslo peace deal between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization and so refuses ensuing governments.
The Islamic Jihad's position comes ahead of a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, whose Hamas movement won 2006 parliamentary elections and ousted Abbas's long-dominant Fatah party.
In 2007, Hamas, the biggest Islamic movement, took over Gaza by force and left the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority confined to the West Bank.
Abbas and Mashaal will try to implement a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt in May. The agreement envisions a technocratic government ruling Gaza and the West Bank until elections, initially expected in May 2012.
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