Palestinians sets delayed local elections for May 13

JERUSALEM (AFP) - The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday (Jan 31) that local elections that had been due to be held in the West Bank and Gaza last October will now take place on May 13.

The Islamist Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip has been at odds with president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party over the organisation of their first competitive polls in a decade.

"Today, at a regular meeting, the council of ministers decided to hold elections on May 13, to be held in the West Bank and Gaza," local government minister Hussein al-Araj told AFP.

The elections were postponed after a court decision last year with Fatah and Hamas trading blame over the delay.

The rival parties have not contested an election since 2006 parliamentary polls, which Hamas won - sparking a conflict that led to near civil war in Gaza the following year.

Reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed, and Hamas boycotted the most recent municipal elections in 2012.