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Palestinians skeptical about Fatah-Hamas election deal

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
OCTOBER 3, 2020 17:56

A joint Fatah-Hamas statement issued after the meeting in Turkey said that the two parties agreed on a “vision” for holding the elections and achieving “national reconciliation.”

A meeting of leaders of Palestinians factions that was supposed to take place on Saturday to discuss holding new elections has been postponed indefinitely, apparently due to ongoing differences between the ruling Fatah faction and Hamas.

The meeting was supposed to approve the Fatah-Hamas understandings reached between the two sides in Turkey two weeks ago. Fatah and Hamas reportedly agreed to hold elections for the Palestinian Authority presidency and parliament, the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC).

A joint Fatah-Hamas statement issued after the meeting in Turkey said that the two parties agreed on a “vision” for holding the elections and achieving “national reconciliation.” According to the statement, the “vision” would be presented to a meeting of secretaries-general of the Palestinian factions, under the sponsorship of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, no later than October 1.

Fatah officials initially said the meeting would take place on October 3, adding that Abbas would afterwards issue a “presidential decree” setting a date for the elections. They said the elections would take place in three phases: first, for the PLC, second for the PA presidency, and third for the Palestine National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the PLO.

In spite of the apparent rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinians have regarded the understandings on the elections with a fair amount of skepticism.

In spite of the apparent rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinians have regarded the understandings on the elections with a fair amount of skepticism.

“It seems that neither Abbas nor Hamas are really interested in holding new elections,” a Palestinian political analyst told The Jerusalem Post.

“The Palestinian public, in addition, does not seem to care much about elections these days, particularly in wake of the growing number of coronavirus infections and the bad economy. The European Union appears to be more interested in the elections than the Palestinian public. Apparently, Abbas is facing pressure from the Europeans to hold new elections while the Palestinians are almost completely indifferent to the subject.

”A PLO official told the Post that, notwithstanding the progress achieved during the Fatah-Hamas discussions, “the two sides need more time to discuss several contentious issues.”

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