There is a growing expectation among analysts that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas could soon issue a decree to set up parliamentary and presidential elections in 2020.
Posts tagged ‘Fatah’
The long-serving leader faces potential indictments in three corruption cases, while his right-wing Likud party has failed to open up a significant gap in the opinion polls ahead of its biggest rival, the Blue and White party, headed by former military chief Benny Gantz. Read more
Exactly one month before the long-awaited local elections were set to take place across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian high court in Ramallah suspended the vote – and it is now unclear whether polling will go ahead at all.
The October 8 vote was meant to elect local councils in more than 400 cities and towns across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thursday’s ruling does not definitively cancel the polls, with the court announcing a further hearing for September 21. Read more
In Gaza, the movement is strapped for cash, as the territory’s residents continue to suffer under Israel’s illegal blockade.
The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 41.2 percent, while 80 percent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.
The Egyptians, meanwhile, are keeping the Rafah crossing almost entirely shut, and have cracked down on the cross-border tunnels that were a major boost to Gaza’s economy. Read more
On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well.
The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum dwarfing the campaign coffers of other parties. The money funded “dozens of quick projects…to bolster the governing Fatah faction’s image with voters,” and focused on “constituencies where Hamas was doing well.”
It was money spent in vain. Hamas won 74 of 132 seats in the PLC, while Fatah, the long-dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PA), secured just 45. The new parliament was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. Read more
Mahmoud Abbas last received the approval of Palestinian voters in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip more than a decade ago. He is now 80 years old, with no vice president, no publicly anointed successor, and no prospect of new elections any time soon.
Last summer was all about Gaza, as Israel unleashed unprecedented violence on the fenced-in enclave. In the West Bank, meanwhile, Israeli forces conducted a clampdown the likes of which had not been seen since the Second Intifada.
This summer, however, with the peace process showing no signs of emerging from its coma, and the occupation’s violence at a relatively low ebb, the focus has been on the intensifying internal political machinations in Ramallah, and in particular, the question mark over Abu Mazen’s presidency. Read more
At a recent conference on Palestine in Doha, organised by Azmi Bishara’s Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, there was one thing that everyone agreed on: the Palestinian national movement is in a state of crisis with regards to leadership, representation and strategies. How this predicament came about, and what needs to happen to improve this state of affairs, was a topic of debate and divergent views; the basic fact of, as Dr. Bishara put it, the need for a “reformulation of the Palestinian national project” enjoyed a gloomy consensus, however. Read more
For a few months now, discussion of Palestine/Israel has focused on the looming UN vote on Palestinian statehood, but this is obscuring more fundamental problems in the Palestinian political arena – of which the forthcoming UN vote is a symptom.
In three critical areas, there are significant flaws hampering Palestinian political leadership.
The first is a legitimacy deficit. Both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas have, with the most generous interpretation, a minority mandate from the Palestinian people. The last elections of any sort took place in 2005-2006, and overdue local elections have been indefinitely postponed. And even if presidential or parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza were to take place tomorrow, they would still exclude Palestinian refugees. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) remains a potential vehicle for democratic decision-making, but serious reform is still not on the horizon. Read more
For the best part of half a century, Fatah dominated Palestinian politics. Israeli attempts to extinguish the movement failed; rivals were co-opted or sidelined. But gradually, as the Oslo years gave way to the Second Intifada, the peace process went up in smoke and Hamas emerged as a genuine contender for Palestinian political loyalties, serious and critical divisions within the movement have come to the surface. This piece examines the current crisis facing the Fatah movement, and possibilities for the future: critical issues facing the movement — internal divisions, differences over strategy often sharply focused on the question of resistance and/or negotiations, the relationship with Hamas, as well as some of the different options facing Fatah in terms of a way out of the crisis, and approaches being suggested as solutions to the crisis. Read more
After half a dozen unsuccessful attempts, there is now a strong sense that Egypt has managed to negotiate a national unity deal between Hamas and Fatah. Reports indicate that at the end of October, Palestinian factions will gather in Cairo to finalise an agreement, the result of a breakthrough in recent weeks. Next week, Mahmoud Abbas is expected to support the plan after meeting with senior Egyptian officials. Read more