Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, told journalist in New York that Israel does not intend to allow the Palestinian conduct their parliamentary elections in January 2006, if Hamas participates in the elections with disarming and revoking Ã¢â‚¬Å“its call to destruct IsraelÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They will not be able to hold their elections without our assistanceÃ¢â‚¬Â, Sharon said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will make all possible efforts not to aid them in any way if Hamas participatesÃ¢â‚¬Â.Ã‚Â
Sharon also said that the army will close the road blocks in the West Bank and the east of Jerusalem which will make it impossible for the Palestinians to reach the voting centers.
Palestinian chief negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat said that the Israeli interference will only hurt Abbas and strengthen Hamas.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I urge the Israelis to keep out of our elections, our internal affairs, they should keep their noses outÃ¢â‚¬Â, Erekat said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“these elections are considered or turning point towards a Palestinian political pluralism and towards maintaining law and order in the Palestinian territoriesÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Mohammed Ghazal, a political Hamas leader in the West Bank, said that Israel is acting in an undemocratic fashion and interfering in Palestinian internal affairs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Israel claims to be a democratic country, but in fact it is fighting democracy in PalestineÃ¢â‚¬Â, Ghazal said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“if we in Hamas win the elections, our top priority will be rebuilding the economic, social and cultural life in Palestine, we will rebuild what Israel has destroyed, we are not thinking of destroying IsraelÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The Israeli demands came after Hamas showed strong presence in recent municipal elections, and announced that it will take part of the legislative elections for the first time.
Also, Sharon added that he intends to meet with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on October 2, 2005.Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t defeat me in Likud primaries, I will meet with AbbasÃ¢â‚¬Â, Sharon said in a joking manner.
Meanwhile, SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech at the UN evoked harsh criticism from his Likud party, and praise from the Labor party; while Palestinian officials said that SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech feel short of their expectations, and did not bring about any new aspects.
Sharon, in his FridayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech at the UN, reiterated his statements concerning Jerusalem, referring to it as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“eternal and undividedÃ¢â‚¬Â capital of the State of Israel, and added that Israel will continue the construction of the Separation Wall in the West Bank.
P.A officials, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said on Friday the SharonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech clearly shows the he is not interested in advancing the peace process, and is interested in bringing about the failure of the Road Map Plan.Ã‚Â
P.A chief negotiator Saeb Erekat called on Israel to hold final-status talks with the P.A.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We call on Israel, Sharon, to resume the negotiations which include issues of borders, Palestinian refugees and JerusalemÃ¢â‚¬Â, Erekat said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Peace is the way the Palestinians and Israelis can live in dignity and securityÃ¢â‚¬Â.