Sharon’s threat not to cooperate in the elections brought angry reaction from Palestinians. "We urge Sharon to stay out of our internal affairs," said Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. "We hope these elections will take place in the fairest and most honest atmosphere possible." Hamas was defiant. "Undermining the elections will not weaken Hamas,” said the group’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “On the contrary, it will lead to escalating resistance against the occupation."