Hamas is stepping up its war of words against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as the acting speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, Ahmed Bachar, announced Sunday that the organization will not recognize the Abbas presidency past January 9, 2009.

The move comes in reponse to a resolution passed by a special judicial panel over the weekend, according to which Abbas' term is scheduled to end in January 2010, which also coincides with the end of the parliament's term in office. Bachar said that Abbas' term ought to expire four years after his election, and any deviation from that four-year window runs counter to the Palestinian constitution.

Palestinian Authority officials claim that an amendment was added to the constitution upon Abbas' election, stating that the president's term runs through the duration of parliament's term in office.