Palestinian president announces he won't run for reelection
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 16 /Trend/
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Wednesday that he would not seek reelection when new elections are held, which is expected to be in six months, the newspaper Haaretz reported.
In a speech given to political allies, Abbas said that that he is willing to travel to Gaza to promote reconciliation between Hamas and his Fatah faction and form a united government.
"Elections cannot take place if the West Bank and Gaza don't first unite," the Palestinian president said.
Hamas and Fatah established rival governments in June 2007 after Hamas violently overran Gaza, ridding it of Fatah supporters. Since then, Abbas' Fatah party has controlled only the West Bank, and reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed.
On Tuesday, a mass grass-roots protest took place in Gaza, with residents taking to the streets to call for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.
The majority of the estimated 10,000 protesters waved the black, red, green and white Palestinian flags but some also held the green banners of Gaza's ruling Hamas Party.