(JTA) – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly is being urged to cancel upcoming elections in the West Bank and Gaza for fear that his Fatah party will be trounced.
Citing Israel’s Channel 2, The Times of Israel reported Friday that Fatah officials are worried the party’s more militant rival, the terrorist group Hamas, could win in a landslide in municipal elections on Oct. 8. Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007.
Losing in October would mean “the destruction” of Fatah, officials reportedly told Abbas.
The Channel 2 report also said that members of the PA security forces are trying to pressure some Hamas candidates in the West Bank into dropping out of the race.
However, unnamed Fatah officials told The Times of Israel the party has a “reasonable chance of winning.”
Local opinion polls indicate that Hamas, which enjoys strong support in Gaza, will do well in the elections in both the West Bank and Gaza.