Rival Palestinian movements, secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas, announced on Thursday that they had agreed on the organization “for the next six months” of the first Palestinian election since 2005. The announcement comes as Palestinian factions. seeks to unite to counter the normalization of relations between Israel and the Gulf countries.
The Islamist movement Hamas and Fatah, its secular rival, agreed on Thursday, September 24, on the organization “within six months” of the first Palestinian election in fifteen years, in a context marked by a desire “for union” against the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries.
“We have agreed to hold the first legislative elections, since the election of the president of the Palestinian Authority and finally the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for the next six months,” Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, told AFP.
Hamas executive director Saleh al-Arouri confirmed to AFP the agreement reached after meetings in Turkey between Fatah, the head of the Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah on the occupied West Bank, and Hamas, in power. in the Gaza Strip.
Two movements with extended knives
“This time we have reached a real consensus (…), the divisions have damaged our national cause and we are working to end it,” Saleh al-Arouri said in a telephone interview from Istanbul.
The last Palestinian presidential election dates back to 2005. At that time, Yasser Arafat’s successor to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, now 84, won the vote with 62% support and has since led the election. ‘Palestinian Authority.
A year later, Hamas won the legislative election, but these results had soured relations between the two camps, so that they led to armed clashes and to the Islamic Movement taking over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Until recently, the two movements remained in conflict.
According to a rare poll in recent months by the Palestinian Center for Political and Polling Research (PCPSR), Hamas leader Ishmael Haniyeh would be ahead of Mahmoud Abbas in an election.
Mahmoud Abbas, who has repeatedly promised elections over the past decade, did not say on Thursday whether he would run for office.
The PLO, which has signed the peace agreement with Oslo in Oslo, brings together many Palestinian factions, including Fatah, but not Hamas. However, Thursday’s joint agreement, which provides for PLO leadership elections, suggests that Hamas can join this grouping.
As proof of a reconciliation in sight between the two rival movements, the leaders of the two groups will give joint interviews on Thursday night on the channels Palestine TV, based on the West Bank, and Al-Aqsa, in the Gaza Strip, told AFP confirming sources.
The announcement comes when Palestinian factions recently launched a dialogue in the hope of joining forces to counter the normalization of relations between Israel and the Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates.
The Palestinians had called the normalization agreements “a backbone” and criticized some Arab countries as Israel and the United States tried to persuade other countries in the region to follow in the footsteps of the Emirates and Bahrain.
Until recently, the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was seen as a necessary factor in the normalization of relations between the Arab countries and Israel, which has particularly occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem for more than 50 years.
Turkey and Iran, two non-Arab Muslim countries, have been the bitterest opponents of the normalization agreements, called “betrayals”.
Tehran maintains relations with armed Islamist groups in Gaza but less so with the Palestinian Authority.
Turkey, for its part, “aims to lead the defense of the Palestinian cause” and believes that the Arab countries and the West do not defend it adequately, Gallia Lindenstrauss, of the National Institute for Security Research from Tel Aviv, had recently told AFP.