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Is Abbas using Christians to keep Hamas from power?

A presidential decree has sparked controversy in requiring that Christians head nine municipal councils.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) chairs a meeting with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's’ (PLO) executive committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Fadi Arouri/Pool - RTS8TEU
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree July 31 increasing the quota for Christians in local governing councils in the provinces of Ramallah and Bethlehem and in a number of villages around the two provinces. The four-article presidential decree listed nine local councils in the West Bank where the new quota allocated to Christians would exceed the quota assigned to Muslims.

Article 1 of the decree specifies that Christians shall have 5-10 seats on the affected local councils, while Muslims will have 2-7 seats. The total number of seats ranges from 9 to 15, according to the province or village. Article 2 asserts that the heads of the nine local councils — which have the largest number of Christians in the Palestinian territories — must be from the Christian community.

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