Palestinian President: ‘Elections On May 4, God Willing’

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas set May 4, 2012 as the Palestinian election day. “We are planning to hold the elections on May 4, God willing,” Abbas said. The announcement comes after rival Palestinian factions — Hamas and Fatah, who hold sway over Gaza and the West Bank, respectively — held reconciliation talks last week in Egypt. The talks reportedly resulted scrapping the idea of an interim government before the May poll in order to avoid Israel cutting off funds to the PA. Hamas, an Islamist group that engages in terrorism against Israel, reportedly inched toward more mainstream and less rejectionist positions in the talks. A recent poll found that Palestinians increasingly object to armed resistance against Israeli occupation.