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Friday, January 04, 2019, 10:30
New Palestinian political body aims to rival Abbas, Hamas
By Associated Press
Friday, January 04, 2019, 10:30 By Associated Press

Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas stand guard next to a portrait of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas outside the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, under the control of the Palestinian Authority, in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov 18, 2017. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Five Palestinian factions are forming a new political body in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the political duopoly of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and the Islamic movement Hamas.

The factions announced the formation of "The Democratic Caucus" at a news conference on Thursday

The factions announced the formation of "The Democratic Caucus" at a news conference on Thursday, with the stated aim of challenging the two main Palestinian political parties.

READ MORE: Palestinian president to dissolve parliament, Hamas irate

Leaders said they would work toward holding presidential and parliamentary elections, and protecting human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian elections were last held in 2006 and have been indefinitely postponed due to political discord between Fatah and Hamas.

ALSO READ: Abbas threatens to renege on agreements with US, Israel, Hamas

Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's government in a 2007 armed coup. Efforts to reconcile the two parties have yet to yield results.

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