Abbas says no elections without Gaza, East Jerusalem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday stressed the necessity of holding legislative and presidential elections.

"We have decided to go to the legislative elections first and then the presidential elections, and they must be held in and East along with the West Bank," Mahmoud Abbas said at a ceremony marking the 15th death anniversary of former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

"Without Gaza and East Jerusalem there will be no elections," Abbas stressed.

"Under all circumstances, we are going to hold the elections and then hopefully achieve our dream of the independent state of Palestinians," he added.

Abbas, in his speech in the UN General Assembly meeting last September, had pledged to hold general elections.

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