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Abbas Might Quit if Peace Process is Blocked After Vote


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he might resign if extremists block his program of peace negotiations with Israel after next week's Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Speaking to reporters in the West Bank town of Ramallah Wednesday, Mr. Abbas also defended the inclusion in the election of the militant faction Hamas, which refuses to disarm and opposes peace talks with Israel. He expressed hope Hamas would moderate its views.

Mr. Abbas said he remains committed to peace talks, which he described as a "political program," and that he would step down if unable to carry out the program.

Hamas is expected to do well in the election.

Israel says Palestinian gunmen must be disarmed before resumption of peace talks.