Hamas unveils own list for Palestinian polls

Hamas on Monday unveiled its list of candidates for Palestinian elections, ending speculation over a joint list between Hamas and Fatah party.

The Hamas list is headed by Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the group’s political bureau. The list’s slogan is “AlQuds Our Destination."

Haya said the Hamas list included "a dozen" women, in the latest step by the Islamists towards broader female participation in its political wing.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that the list’s slogan “emphasizes the importance of Jerusalem and the insistence on its liberation from the Zionist occupation.”

According to Barhoum, the slogan is an “assertion that regardless of the Israeli plots, the Palestinian people will continue their struggle and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Hamas list was submitted to the offices of the CEC in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The CEC announced that 15 lists have registered so far for the parliamentary election, scheduled to take place on May 22. The deadline for submitting lists is Wednesday.

Hayya told reporters in the Gaza Strip that Hamas was expecting the CEC to approve the list.

“We are committed to the Palestinian law,” he said. “Until now, the parties are prohibited from conducting election campaigns and we have instructed our candidates to abide by the electoral law.”

Hayya said that the Hamas list consists of professionals, experts, academics, youth activists and inmates held in Israeli prisons, as well as representatives of various clans.

Legislative polls have been called for May 22 and a presidential vote on July 31, the first Palestinian elections in 15 years.

"We hope these elections will offer a path to end the division," Hamas official Khalil al-Haya said as the Movement submitted their list of candidates in Gaza City.

He acknowledged there had been discussions on forging a unified list with Fatah but the prospect was "difficult and now out of reach".

Palestinians factions have until midnight Wednesday to submit names of candidates for the 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council.

Officials with the electoral commission said 15 factions had submitted lists as of Monday. Five had been approved, while the rest were being examined.

The approved lists are to be unveiled on April 6.