Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Saturday for early
presidential and legislative elections as soon as possible, ending a 9
month-old internal Palestinian dialogue that failed to reach a unity

President Abbas’s remarks came in an address to the Palestinian nation in light of deteriorating domestic and economic conditions in the shadow of international economic boycott and growing internal violence that claimed lives of 320 Palestinians.

The president flashed back all Palestinian, Arab and international efforts to end ongoing crisis across the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The Arab peace proposal of 2002 as well as the Qatar initiative of September 2006 have failed, I want a unity government that lifts the siege”, the President maintained.

“We have started a dialogue because of deteriorating conditions; the security laps claimed lives of 320 people, as half of the MPs have been taken prisoners by Israel”, President Abbas said.

Abbas also pointed out that such a siege came as a result of the current government’s failure to fit the international legitimacy.

He reiterated that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole representative of the Palestinian people. “There are no two authorities in the country”, the President maintained.

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Al Zahar, speaking to Aljazeera channel, refused Abbas’s call, saying “the president does not have the authority to dissolve the current legislative council”

Zahhar added that “Fateh movement is responsible for the destruction, chaos and corruption”.

Ahmad Bahar, first deputy of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the Hamas party, said that “nobody, even the president, can dissolve the legislative council”.

Bahar added that the statements of Abbas “violate the basic Palestinian law”.

Bassam Al Salhi, secretary general of the leftist Palestinian People party, said that the Palestinian people want a unity government that is capable of serving their interests.

Al Salhi added that the factions still have time to achieve an agreement in the coming days instead of trading accusations.

Jibreel Rajoub, member of Fateh Revolutionary Council, said that Abbas conducted all needed efforts to achieve unity, and kept the door open for serious dialogue on national unity talks with Hamas and other factions.     

The latest speech by President Abbas came after the Palestinian national unity government talks had failed to reach an agreement that would end growing tension and the internationally-imposed embargo.

In January, 2006 Hamas won majority of the Palestinian legislative council’s seats and since then has been refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, accept signed peace agreements and renounce violence, things that the international community has demanded Hamas to accept as a pre-condition to lift the economic siege.