Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the parliamentary elections will be held on January 25, 2006.

“The Parliamentary elections will be held in all of the Palestinian areas on Wednesday, January 25, 2006”, Abbas said while addressing a “model parliament” of high school students in Gaza, on Saturday.

Dr. Saeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian negotiator and cabinet minister, said last week that the elections will be conducted on January 21, 2006; the statements of Abbas were based on a decision taken by the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO.

The date was changed because of a major Muslim Feast and the pilgrimage Muslims conducted to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in the same period. 

Meanwhile, dozens of Hamas fighters marched in Central Square in Gaza City, and vowed to resume their military activities.

The gunmen closed all of the entrances of the square and marched there; P.A police arrived at the scene but did not interfere in order not to escalate the situation.

Also, Abu Obeida, a Hamas spokesperson said that the Israeli pullout from Gaza settlement “does not end the battle with the occupation”.

“We still have a long battle with the occupation”, Abu Obeida said, “We will continue our struggle”.