The head of the Palestinian Central Elections Committee on Thursday announced that Palestinian legislative and presidential elections cannot be held on January 24, as declared by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The committee chief informed Abbas of his decision earlier in the day. He blamed the inability to hold elections on Hamas, which had threatened to punish any residents of the Gaza Strip that dared to vote in the poll.
Many in Israel viewed Thursday’s announcement as just part of a larger ruse by Abbas to remain in power after telling the world he would not seek reelection due to what he called Israel’s inability to make peace. Abbas will now be viewed as the “reluctant moderate” leader who will only stick around as long as Israel is pressured into making the kind of concessions that will keep him happy.