• Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently announced that the first presidential and parliamentary elections since 2006 will be held later this year, writes the newspaper Israel Hayom. But the road to the first election in 14 years is full of obstacles.

The division between the Palestinian factions is great. It is therefore far from certain that parliamentary elections will be held on 22 May, or presidential elections on 31 July. This is not the first time an election has been announced, but it will become a reality – read more HERE in Norwegian.

The announcement of the election is seen as a gesture directed at US President-elect Joe Biden, with whom the Palestinians hope to have a better relationship after relations with the United States reached a low point under Donald Trump.

The previous election in 2006 ended with Hamas – a terrorist organization that is on the EU terror list, among other things – winning the majority of seats in parliament and forming a government. Shortly afterwards, President Mahmoud Abbas ousted the elected Hamas government. This led to a split between the Palestinians which culminated in a civil war after which Hamas took power over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Since then, Hamas has controlled Gaza, while Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah have controlled the West Bank. All attempts at lasting reconciliation between the two factions have failed. Both are accused of suppressing political opposition.

Polls show that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has a better chance of being elected president than Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas if the election turns out to be anything, writes Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). It is first and foremost an expression that a majority of Palestinians (66%) believe Abbas must resign.

If, on the other hand, the election were to take place between Haniyeh and another Fatah candidate, Marwan Barghouti, the latter would get 61% of the vote, according to a Palestinian poll. Barghouti has been convicted of his role in the killing of five Israelis and is serving several life sentences in prison.

Regardless of an election result, a majority of Palestinians believe that Fatah will continue to control the West Bank, while Hamas will continue to control the Gaza Strip. They do not believe the factions will relinquish power.

But what will the United States, the European Union and other donor countries do if a designated terrorist organization takes control of the Palestinian Authority (PA)? PMW believes the world community must say very clearly that if the Palestinians choose a terrorist group to govern, then they must take the consequence of ceasing all financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Read MIFF’s articles HERE about how Danish aid to the Palestinians is being misused by the PA for terror incitement, jihad school curriculum, terrorist pay for convicted terrorists with Israeli lives on their conscience, PFLP terrorist cells and other terrorist activity.

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