Hamas Threatens to Boycott July 9 Elections

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The Palestinian Authority announced Tuesday it will hold their first local elections in five years on July 9 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

However, the rival Hamas government rejected the move, saying the elections would have no value since the PA has no legitimacy.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Hamas would boycott any vote until the two governments were reconciled.

"Talk of holding elections in light of divisions [between Hamas and Fatah] and without agreement is null and void, and the results won't be accepted," Hamas said in a statement.

"Suppression of freedoms by the Palestinian security forces, which collaborates with the occupation in the West Bank, doesn't create a proper atmosphere for holding fair elections," the statement read.

The recent push for Palestinian elections appears to reflect fears that ongoing antigovernment protests in nearby Egypt could lead to similar calls in the Palestinian territories.

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