Gaza, 8 Rabiul Akhir 1434/18 February 2013 (MINA) – Dr. Khalil al-Hayya, member of the Political Bureau of Hamas, confirmed that the file of liberties in the occupied West Bank has been obstructing the achievement of Palestinian reconciliation.
        Hayya told journalists on Saturday: “Hamas is not ready and does not agree to hold elections if the freedoms file is not completed in the occupied West Bank”, noting that it includes the political arrests, summonses, and the confiscation of properties.
        He also pointed out that political arrests in Gaza have been completely halted and that 95 members of Fatah have been allowed to return to Gaza, according to and Wafa reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Sunday.
        He stressed that the agreements that took place between Fatah and Hamas covered all issues, including the security file, and pointed out that it was agreed on criminalizing security coordination, and on the role of resistance as a right for every Palestinian.
        The Palestinian leader pointed out that the reconciliation will be hampered because of US president Barack Obama and his secretary of state John Kerry’s visit to the region.
        When Khaled Meshaal spoke to Mahmoud Abbas about this issue, he explicitly said that the Americans are putting pressure on the PA, he added.
        Concerning the violations of the truce signed after the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza, Hayya says that his movement demands Egyptian officials to oblige Israel to implement what was agreed upon.
        Unprecedented Numbers of Voter Registrants, says Election Commission
        Meanwhile, Voter registration centers are receiving unprecedented numbers of registrants reaching a total of 202,457 until closing hour on Friday, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) said in a statement Saturday.
        It said that out of the total, 155,469 of the registrants were in the Gaza Strip and 46,988 in the West Bank.
        “The difference in the two percentages between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is attributed  to having the voter registry updated in the West Bank on an annual basis (last registry update was August), while it has not been updated in Gaza since 2007,” it said.
         Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip since June 2007, has not allowed the CEC to conduct voter registration in that area of Palestine.
         An agreement was only recently reached between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal that allowed the CEC to carry out voter registration in the Gaza Strip as a prelude to holding presidential and legislative elections possibly three months after the CEC completes updating its voter registry.
         The CEC said statistics showed that the lowest registration turnout was in the southern West Bank city of Hebron where only 66% of the eligible registrants have registered. (T/P02/E1)

 Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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