Israel 365: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas addresses a rally commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death in the West Bank city of in Ramallah on November 11, 2009.Abbas stood by his demand for a complete Israeli settlement freeze as he addressed tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered to honour Arafat.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued an official decree last Friday, ordering that elections be held within seven months. According to the decree, elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council will be held on May 22.  Another round of elections will be held on for the Palestinian Authority president on July 31. Yet another round will be held on August 31 for the Palestinian National Council. Just prior to the announcement, Abbas issued a number of unilateral amendments to the Palestinian elections law.

(FILE- In this March 18, 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left)

The last time elections were held in the P)A was 2006 and Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005 after replacing Yasser Arafat, who served a four-year term lasting from 1994-2004. In those elections to determine rule over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, Hamas won 74 seats out of the 132  seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Abbas’ party, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (an outgrowth of the terrorist organization founded by Arafat), refused to allow them into the government but Hamas took control of Gaza by force, expelling the PLO. The PA, which was formed as a result of the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, then took control of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria. \

In 2018, Abbas dissolved the Parliament, promising new elections within six ‎months. Those elections were never held. Read More