Palestinian election campaigning begins

Jan. 3, 2006 at 10:38 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Palestinian parties Tuesday launched into campaigning in Ramallah and Gaza City, although there are doubts the Jan. 25 election will proceed.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah party began its campaign at the gravesite of former leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, while Hamas launched its campaign in Gaza City outside the home of one of its dead leaders, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel nearly two years ago.

However, Abbas has warned he will postpone the election if Israel blocks Palestinians living in East Jerusalem from voting, the BBC said.

Fatah has governed the Palestinians since they had their first parliamentary elections 10 years ago but is facing a serious challenge from Hamas and Islamist parties. Polls have suggested Fatah might secure only one-third of the vote, the report said.

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