Fatah and Hamas Reach A Deal for Palestinian Election

Both sides had been holding talks for days in Turkey’s capital before announcing the cooperation on Thursday.

Fatah Hamas deal
flickr/photos/cabinetoffice

The traditional rivals, Fatah and Hamas, agreed on a deal to hold elections within six months in Palestine that saw no elections for the last 15 years.

Currently, Palestinian President Mehmood Abbas’s Fatah Movement party holds the Western Bank, while the rival Hamas has been ruling over Gaza for years.

Both sides had been holding talks for days in Turkey’s capital before announcing the cooperation on Thursday.

What Unites Traditional Rivals?

The two biggest Palestinian factions had been at loggerheads for more than a decade, and the mutual difference had been irreconcilable until now. However, the deal between Fatah and Hamas seems to have been inspired by the recent friendships between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Bahrain soon followed in UAE’s steps in joining hands with Israel.

While talking to AFP, a top Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri confirmed the news saying, “This time we reached a real consensus. Our differences have cost our national cause dearly, and we’re trying to overcome them.”

Fatah’s spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad too, confirmed this alliance. Speaking to RushHourDaily, he said, President Mehmood Abbas will soon release a statement regarding the date of the election.”

Fatah-Hamas Deal

Both parties had developed irreconcilable differences in 2007 that saw bloody skirmishes as well. Since then, Hamas has been ruling Gaza while Fatah governs the West Bank. During the last decades, many attempts to rapprochement eventually failed.

For the sake of peace, both parties exchanged prisoners in 2012 too. In 2014, a coalition government was formed following the persuasion of mutual friends. However, the coalition could not last long.

Israel has declared Hamas an extremist organization.

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The Fatah-Hamas differences date back to 2006 when Hamas won the general election and drove away Fatah from the strip. Since then, President Mahmood Abbas has been leading Palestinian Authority from the center, Ramallah.

Due to the deadlock, there had been no elections for the last 14 years in the Palestinian authority.

There have been decades-long efforts to form a Palestinian state comprising both areas ruled by the two parties in addition to East Jerusalem as its future capital. However, Israel’s stubbornness and its ever-expanding settlement into Western Bank has halted any possibility of a two-state solution.

Even more controversial than the settlement issue is the status of Jerusalem that has hampered any prospect of a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and Israel.

President Trump further complicated the situation who recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and ordered the US embassy to move there. Another thorny issue is the status of Palestinian refugees living for years in other areas.

However, given Fatah and Hamas’s tumultuous history, it is yet to see how the two parties will make a new alliance workable.

About Staff Writer

My focus is on politics, history, religion, and philosophy of life. I present news analysis and opinion on current affairs and occasionally produce satire articles

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