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Hamas, Fatah exchange accusations of threats to electoral candidates

The Central Elections Commission and rights organizations have received several complaints of threats against electoral lists and candidates in the Palestinian territories, shattering the Palestinians’ hope for smooth local elections.
Palestinians wave Palestinian and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) flags during a protest against the renewal stalled peace talks with Israel,  in the West Bank city of Ramallah July 28, 2013. Israel was expected on Sunday to approve releasing more than 100 Arab prisoners as a step to renew stalled peace talks with the Palestinians ahead of plans to convene negotiators in Washington later this week. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX122EJ
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — As soon as the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announced Aug. 25 that the nomination process for the local elections had ended, several electoral lists and candidates across the West Bank started to withdraw their candidacies after having allegedly been told not to run by Palestinian security forces and anonymous parties under threat.

These threats, which included detention and deprivation of salary, were made against electoral lists opposing the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement, such as the Palestinian left and Hamas. The homes of some candidates such as Noureddine Khalaf, who was nominated for the Burqin town list in Jenin, came was shot at in Nablus and Jenin in the northern West Bank. Other candidates and their families were severely beaten by unknown assailants.

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