Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' party says the Palestinian high court has postponed municipal elections set for next month till at least December.

The Oct. 8 vote would have been the first contest at the ballot box between Abbas' Fatah and archrival Hamas, an Islamic militant group, since their territorial split in 2007. At the time, Hamas seized the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas with autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-controlled West Bank.

Fatah says the court ruled on Thursday that the elections are on hold until it could look into several appeals and that the next hearing would only be held Dec. 21.

A court official confirmed the ruling. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she could only speak to reporters once the decision was published later Thursday.