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Palestinian Factions Call for Elections Before End of 2018

  • Hamas won last legislative elections in 2006, leading to war
  • Palestinian groups issued election call after Cairo meeting
Fatah's Azam al-Ahmad (R)and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas sign a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo on October 12, 2017.

Fatah's Azam al-Ahmad (R)and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas sign a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo on October 12, 2017.

Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo called on President Mahmoud Abbas to hold legislative and presidential elections by the end of 2018 to cement a recent agreement to end a decade of splits that have hampered the bid for statehood.

Representatives of 13 groups met over two days this week and endorsed an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation accord announced on Oct. 12. Under that deal, the Palestinian Authority, led by West Bank-based Abbas of Fatah, has taken over most government functions in the Gaza Strip, as well as its border crossings, from Hamas Islamists. A unity government is due to take full administrative control of Gaza by Dec. 1.