Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he may call early elections if his Fatah party fails to reach a political deal with the Hamas militant group.
Officials said Saturday he will announce the plan for presidential and legislative elections next week. Hamas leaders immediately rejected Abbas's plan as a coup against the Hamas-led government. They also warned it will raise tensions.
The Palestinian leadership is facing a financial crisis because of international sanctions imposed after Hamas won elections this year. Western donors are demanding that the militant group recognize Israel and accept interim Israeli-Palestinian accords.
On Friday, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said his group will never recognize Israel and vowed to continue violent resistance. Hamas and the Fatah party of Mr. Abbas have failed to agree on forming a unity government to help end the sanctions.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.