Gaza's Hamas says ready for Palestinian elections

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza's Hamas rulers say they're ready to hold Palestinian elections — a potentially significant step that could help end a 12-year rift with the rival Palestinian Authority.

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Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made the announcement Monday after a meeting with the head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, Hanna Nasser.

However, there was no indication whether the meeting overcame the obstacles that have scuttled similar pledges in the past.

The Islamic militant group Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006.

The following year, the group seized control of Gaza from the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.

Attempts at reconciliation and holding new elections have repeatedly failed, leaving the Palestinians divided between two governments, one in Gaza and the other in the West Bank.

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