International mediators pushing a peace plan for the Middle East are calling on the Palestinian Authority to ensure fair, free and transparent parliamentary elections set for next month.
In a statement, diplomats from the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations urged participants in the January 25th polls to recognize Israel's right to exist.
The so-called Quartet also urged Palestinian factions to disarm and renounce violence. Wednesday's statement came just hours after rival wings of the ruling Palestinian Fatah party presented a joint list of candidates for the polls.
The list -- headed by jailed intifada leader Marwan Barghouti -- marks Fatah's bid to heal deep party divisions that threatened to divide voters and catapult the militant Islamist Hamas party into prominence.
Hamas -- considered a terrorist organization by the United States -- has vowed to destroy Israel.