All posts tagged fatah

Week in Review, Feb 24th

Gaza celebrates scheduled release of Khader Adnan

Gaza celebrates scheduled release of Khader Adnan / theIMEU, Flickr

A victory for Khader Adnan (?), a fuel crisis in Gaza, new settlement construction in the West Bank and more in this week’s top #Palestine stories.

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Week in Review, Feb 10th

Khader Adnan Solidarity Protest

Protest in solidarity with hunger striker Khader Adnan at Ofer prison / activestills, Flickr

Fatah and Hamas finally sign unity government agreement, hunger striker brings greater attention to IDF administrative detention, Hamas’ “waning” relationship with Iran and more this week’s top #Palestine stories.

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Six Questions for Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Hanan Ashrawi / Wikimedia Commons

I sat down with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, at her Ramallah office. We shared a plate of “healthy stuff,” fresh fruits and vegetables — in contrast to the cigarette smoke-filled rooms of the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters, the Muqata — and discussed the PLO’s strategies for 2012.

1. You were in Cairo three weeks ago for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks. How are the unity talks being affected by the Quartet’s January 26 deadline?

Dr. Ashrawi: I don’t even think about it as a deadline, because I would hate to link our own internal domestic issues to what the Quartet says. Frankly speaking, the Quartet hasn’t been doing anything. It’s just all show and no substance; all talk and no action. And I don’t see why we should adopt their deadlines knowing that they’re not doing anything, and all they’re doing is asking us to negotiate. And they should know better because they are seeing what’s happening on the ground…. We don’t have anything against talks. But we have something against talks that are used for a pretext to provide Israel with cover — legal cover, protection, and time to destroy the two-state solution…. Now either they rectify the negotiations, the so-called process, or we look for something else.

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The Beginning of the End for Fatah?

It was announced this week that Fatah suffered heavy losses in the Nablus Chambers of Commerce and Industry elections, with the resounding win going to independents. Independent parties such as Nablus for All, which won 4 seats, and the Independent Party, which won 7 seats, garnered a total of 73 percent of the vote. I usually refrain from making a general conclusion based on a single event, but the recent elections in Nablus give me reason to pause. And it is not just about the elections; rather, my concern (if I may call it that) stems from what has been on the minds and lips of many pundits, Palestinians and commentators for what seems to be a very long time, that is, are we seeing the beginning of the end for Fatah?

I have spent nearly one year traveling back and forth from the West Bank and in my journeys I have engaged in countless discussions regarding various political issues, including the political longevity of Palestinian Prime Dr. Salam Fayyad, President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah. I have spoken to Palestinians of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds and I must admit that I am no closer in answering whether we are going to see the unraveling of Fatah in the near future than when I was studying Palestinian politics in London.

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Palestinians between reconciliation and impasse

Peter Lagerquist, Foreign Policy - The reconciliation accord formally signed by Hamas and Fatah on May 2 is beginning to show its first cracks. The two movements agreed to jointly contest new elections in late 2012 and were scheduled to announce a transitional government in June. But Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s insistence that it should be headed by his current prime minister, Salam Fayyad, infuriated Hamas. The Islamists loathe Fayyad, who has overseen a four-year crackdown on their membership in the West Bank in cooperation with Israeli forces, as much as he is feted by Western chanceries. The latter have agreed to keep funding the PA on the condition that he controls its purse strings. Abbas fears that a new unity government might face a financial crisis similar to that endured in 2006, when Hamas won PA elections. On June 21, he accordingly insisted on his prerogative to choose the new prime minister, formally contravening the text of the reconciliation accord. In response, Hamas complained that he had become little more than a collaborator with Israel.

Declaring that the new government must “preserve room for resistance,” Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh underscored why the odds on this political détente holding up had always seemed steep. If these odds are to improve, both factions will have to make new and steep rhetorical climb-downs. Yet signs indicate that Abbas in particular is reconsidering reconciliation, or at least looking for ways to mitigate the risks to which it has exposed him.

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