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Hamas and Fatah agree to hold elections in Palestine within six months



           


After fifteen years of conflict, Hamas and Fatah take a common position (photo: DR)
After fifteen years of conflict, Hamas and Fatah take a common position (photo: DR)
PALESTINE. Faced with the increasing normalisation of relations between Israel and several Arab countries (Bahrain, United Arab Emirates) but also with the Israeli-American peace plan providing for annexations, the enemy Palestinian movements Hamas (Islamist) and Fatah (secular) have reached an agreement to organise elections within six months.

Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, their leaders decided, on Thursday 24 September 2020, that legislative elections would first be held. They would be followed by a presidential election (Palestinian Authority) and then a vote to elect the members of the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the equivalent of the Parliament. "This time we have reached a real consensus, the divisions have harmed our national cause and we are working to put an end to it," stressed Saleh Al Arouri, Hamas's number two.

A statement published on Saturday, September 26, 2020 on the official website of Hamas states that "the discussions between Hamas and Fatah are not an alternative to the overall national dialogue, but they come in preparation for it (...) Thus, the statements on the conclusion of agreements and the setting of timetables are false. We reiterate our willingness to reach comprehensive national agreements on all issues". These are confusing terms.

Hamas and Fatah have been tearing each other apart since June 2007 and the victory of Hamas in the legislative elections. One year later, the Islamist movement had taken control of the Gaza Strip, limiting the power of the Palestinian Authority (whose President Mahmoud Abbas, still in office at 84 years old, comes from Fatah) to the West Bank alone.

These would be the first elections in Palestine since the legislative elections in 2006 and the presidential elections in 2005.

 


Eric Apim


Monday, September 28th 2020



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