Abbas 'will not seek reelection'

By Jessica Elgot, March 16, 2011

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has announced he will not seek re-election.

Palestinian Authority elections are expected to take place in the next six months.

Mr Abbas said he was making plans to travel to the Gaza Strip to reconcile the territories in order to conduct elections for a united government.

He told the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah today : “I am not talking about more negotiations. It is time we reached an agreement.”

Yesterday Mr Abbas told Israel Army Radio that he condemned the killing of five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank last week.

The victims, Udi and Ruth Fogel, and three of their children, ages 11, 4 and 3 months, were stabbed to death at their home in Itamar near Nablus last Friday night.

Mr Abbas said: “This act was abominable, inhuman and immoral. Any person who has a sense of humanity would be pained and driven to tears by such sights.”

Last updated: 11:43am, March 17 2011