Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh announced that the group accepted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' request to hold parliamentary elections first, before the presidential one, speaking after a meeting with representatives of Palestinian factions, in Gaza on Sunday.
"For the sake of our homeland and a real breakthrough on this level, we have accepted to hold legislative and presidential elections within a specified period," said Haniyeh.
"Hamas was flexible, responsibly and positively inspired by its national responsibility and its involvement in the project of liberation and return. Inspired by the discussions and consultations held during the last period in the presence of all Palestinian national factions," Haniyeh stated.
The Hamas chief also stressed that the elections should be held in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, "in a way that does not accept talk and maneuver, especially on the issue of Jerusalem."
"If the Israeli occupation refuses to hold elections in Jerusalem, we as Palestinian people in all our factions must make Jerusalem the title of a political clash with this enemy. And expose this enemy to the world," he said.
The last Palestinian parliamentary elections were held in 2006, which were won by Hamas. The last presidential elections were held in 2005, which resulted in the victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Abbas.