UN News, the official United Nations news service, has the latest from Palestine and a statement from António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General. Take a look:
“The holding of elections in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza will be a crucial step towards Palestinian unity”, said a statement issued on behalf of António Guterres on Saturday which would give “renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including a democratically elected Parliament and Government in Palestine.”
The last elections involving all the areas under control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – which has limited self-rule over the Israeli-occupied West Bank, while the militant group Hamas controls the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, and Israel controls occupied East Jerusalem – was in 2006.
A year later, Hamas won at the ballot box in legislative elections, and took military control of Gaza a year later, ousting rivals Fatah, which continued to have majority support across the West Bank, leading to a longstanding rift with Hamas.
Pressure has grown on Palestinian leaders to reconcile across political and regional divides, according to news reports, following the stalemate with Israel over peace negotiations, and diplomatic agreements reached in recent months between Israel and four Arab nations.