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Jerusalem to participate in polls: Abbas

The Palestinian Prez has said he would postpone elections if East Jerusalem residents are not allowed to vote within the municipality boundaries.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2006 13:53 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said for the first time that he would postpone the January 25 parliamentary elections if Israel did not allow residents of East Jerusalem to vote within the municipality boundaries.

"We are all in agreement that Jerusalem should be included according to the 1996 arrangements and, if it isn't, all the factions have agreed that there will be no elections," he told Al Jazeera television onMonday while travelling in Qatar.

Previously, Abbas had repeatedly insisted on holding the elections on time under all circumstances.

The radical Hamas faction, which poses a rising challenge to Abbas' ruling Fatah movement, reacted angrily to his remark, saying the Jerusalem issue was an "excuse".

The Israeli Air Force, meanwhile, fired two missiles at a car travelling north of Gaza City on Monday night, killing two Palestinian militants and critically wounding a third, hospital officials confirmed.

The three occupants of the car were members of Saraya al-Quds, the armed wing of the radical Islamic Jihad movement.

The fourth victim, a bystander, was in moderate condition, said an official of Shiffa hospital in Gaza City.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the air strike, saying the target was a senior Islamic Jihad leader involved in launching locally produced rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 11:01 IST