RAMALLLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian self-rule government in the West Bank has set Oct. 20 as the new date for long-delayed municipal elections, a step seen as deepening the political split with Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Tuesday's decision came a week after the Islamic militant Hamas halted voter registration efforts in Gaza. General elections are the centerpiece of a broad reconciliation deal that was to end five years of separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza.
However, implementation has stalled for more than a year. The local vote had been put on hold to give reconciliation efforts a chance.
West Bank government spokesman Ghassan Khatib says, "You cannot hold the elections hostage to Hamas forever."