New Elections in Palestine Cause New FATAH-HAMAS Clashes

New Elections in Palestine Cause New FATAH-HAMAS Clashes

Azerbaijan, Baku, 25 November / Trend corr. U.Sadigova/ The pre-term elections for the post of the Head of Palestinian Autonomy will not take place, because the consent of HAMAS Resistance Movement, which possesses majority of votes in the government, is required for this. Pre-term elections can lead to the new confrontation between the political parties.

"Pre-term elections will not take place, because Palestinian people was divided, and it is necessary to remove the differences between the parties in order to devise a single pre-election campaign," Hisham Ahmed, Professor of Political Science at Birzeit University, told Trend by telephone from Jerusalem.

The Head of the ruling party Fatah Mahmud Abbas stated at the governmental meeting on Sunday that if HAMAS refuses dialogue with the Palestinian Administration, then he will declare pre-term Presidential elections, Aljazeera television channel reported.

The contradictions of Hamas Resistance Movement and Palestinian Administration have not been ceasing since day of victory of Fatah in the presidential elections in January 2005.

After victory of Hamas in the parliamentary elections in 2006, the Palestinian Government refused the co-operation with the members of the Movement, accusing Hamas of undermining national Palestinian dialogue.

After failure of the last of talks in Cairo mediated by Egypt, Fatah toughened up its policy with respect to the Movement, urging them to recognize the central authority. However, Hamas requires Abbas to release 400 supporters of the Movement on the West Bank.

The last statement of Abbas on holding pre-term elections is an attempt to temporarily end the contradiction of the two Palestinian groups, taking into consideration that Gaza Strip is in the difficult economic and humanitarian blockade by Israel, Mahdi Abdel-Hadi, analyst of Рalestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, said.  

He thinks that the internal contradictions in the Autonomy complicate the talks with Israel, and therefore, these elections are very important for Palestine in order to determine the strongest of the Palestinian politicians.

However, the Israeli expert of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Hillel Frisch considers that the contradictions of the two groups are advantageous for the Palestinians in order to continue attacks on the Israeli territories, desiring to prove the forces of their combat forces.

"Until there is an armistice between them, each of the Palestinian forces will try to continue some actions or rocket attacks on Israeli territory, thereby demonstrating their military capabilities," said Frisch.

Until internecine struggle within the Palestinian Authority stops, the armed conflict between Israel and Palestine will go on, said Israeli political scientist.

Though Abbas calls for early elections, he needs support from other parties. Hamas movement possesses a majority in the Palestinian government.

Therefore, it is too early to talk of early elections and they are likely to be held in January 2009, when Abbas's term of presidency expires.

The question of who will win in these elections remains unclear.

Early elections can not be conducted, even despite Mahmoud Abbas's desire, because the conflict between Palestinian parties impedes the Palestinian vote, said Director of the International Middle East Media Center, a Palestinian analyst George Rishmawi.

"Support to the population of the Gaza Strip will not ensure victory for Hamas because its coming to power means a one-party rule in the autonomy," Rishmawi said to Trend by telephone from Ramallah.

Therefore, most parties within the autonomy will vote for current leader to save the seat at the government, he said.

Apart from Fatah, several small parties are presented at the government, with Palestinian People's Party being the most active.

However, members of Hamas speak about a possible victory based on a failed foreign and domestic policy of Mahmoud Abbas in the region.

"Since Abbas came to power, the situation in Palestine deteriorated, talks with Israel were deadlocked and occupied lands were not returned. Policy of Mahmoud Abbas completely destroyed economy of the Autonomy," Mushir al Masri, official of Hamas movement, said to Trend by telephone from the Gaza Strip.

Abbas' intentions to hold early election in Palestine are not realistic as he will have to quit post of president in 45 days, al Masri said. "Since Hamas has held the power, the policy of the movement turned out to be more efficient particularly in talks with Israel where Hamas displayed determination of the Palestinian nation," al Masri said.

However, support by the population of a Gaza Strip does not guarantee Hamas victory in the election as the Movement is not a serious challenger to Abbas, said Anne Le More, analyst on Israeli-Palestinian policy of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

"Probably Mahmoud Abbas will be re-elected President as he does not have serious rival who could force him out of the government," Le More said to Trend by email.

New election to be held in January will give a push to confrontation between supporters of Fatah and Hamas and it means new confrontations can take place in Palestine, Palestinian analyst Rishmawi said.

Policy of Hamas, founded in 1987, differed from that of Fatah in its different views regarding talks with Israel. Hamas leaders announced that talks with Israel have been suspended and began struggling for the return of all occupied lands.  The movement was announced a terrorist organization in many European countries and US because of its confrontation policy and acts of terrorism committed in Israel. However, Fatah is a proponent of a close cooperation with the West and continuation of peace talks with Israel.

A.Gut (Israel), R.Hafizoglu (Baku) contributed to the article.

The correspondent can be contacted at [email protected]

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