Middle East

Palestinian court rules election in West Bank only, not Gaza

The Palestinian high court has ruled upcoming municipal elections will be held in the West Bank only, excluding the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Its ruling Monday affirms the Palestinian political and territorial divide between President Mahmoud Abbas who governs parts of the West Bank and the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza.

Palestinians have been split since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007. Repeated reconciliation attempts failed.

The elections were set to take place on Oct. 8 but were postponed last month.

The court statement asked the elections committee to set a new date for the election in the West Bank. The election in Gaza has been canceled.

Hamas criticized the ruling in a statement: "This is a political decision that boosts the division and reflects discrimination."