Photo: Reuters
ILP has attacked Hamas for its participation
Photo: Reuters
Fatwa: Don't vote in PA elections
Hamas fears fatwa released by Islamic Liberation Party will harm its chances in upcoming elections

The Islamic Liberation Party (ILP), most of whose members are also Hamas members, publicized a fatwa saying it was illegal to vote in the upcoming PA elections according to the Islamic religion, and that Muslims must not take part in the vote.


Hamas is worried about the fatwa's impact, believing it may harm its chances of winning the Palestinian parliamentary elections next week.


The ILP has attacked Hamas for its participation, claiming that the elections are taking place in the context of the Oslo agreements, 'which give up sections of Palestine.'


The ILP also claims that the elections are "part of colonialist game" aimed at integrating Islamic organizations into the political game, as is taking place across the Muslim world.


ILP heads say the elections will bring those "who sew plans" against the Palestinian nation and Palestine into power.


Meanwhile, Fatah says that Hamas' participation in the elections represents recognition of the Oslo accords and an abandonment of earlier principles.


Hamas is now concerned that many of its voters will not arrive at voting stations following the fatwa, which would benefit Fatah.


Violence on elections day?


PA Interior Minister Nasser Yusuf says Palestinian organizations have rejected PA suggestions calling for weapons held by all factions, including Hamas, to be placed in special storage, jointly overseen by the PA and the organizations until the end of the elections.


Yusuf's calls have added to concerns that the PA elections day will be a bloody and violent one.


The interior minister says that Palestinian groups turned down a second PA request to substitute personal guards with official PA guards, a recommendation designed to keep gunmen away from polls and the streets during the elections.


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