Photo: Flash90

Palestinians vow first elections since 2006

The Islamist Hamas organization has called on the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to formulate a ‘unified strategy’ to apply ‘comprehensive resistance’ against the United States regional peace initiative to advance Israel’s normalization with Arab and Muslim countries, as well as Israel’s bid to reassert sovereignty over parts of the Biblical districts of Judea and Samaria.

The Hamas plan follows the reaching of an agreement with its arch-rival Fatah faction, lead by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to hold both elections within six months.

During his address last Friday to the United Nations General Assembly, Abbas said that, “here we are, despite all the obstacles that you know too well, preparing ourselves to hold parliamentary elections, followed by presidential elections, with the participation of all factions and political parties.”

“We will continue creating life and hope under the flag of national unity and democracy. We will continue resisting all attempts and plans to erase us, and we will secure our rightful and natural place among nations and exercise the rights granted to us by international legitimacy, including our right to resist this occupation in accordance with international law,” said the Palestinian leader.

Despite the failure of innumerable previous attempts to hold general elections within the Palestinian territories,  the Director General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat insisted that all rival factions have agreed to the upcoming elections – with proactive rejection of Israeli normalization with the Arab world serving as a common denominator.

“The agreement reached specified sequential elections. First we begin with legislative elections, presidential and then Palestine National Council election. We agreed on an election system of 100% proportional system. We agreed that these elections will take place in six months in accordance with our election law and our basic law,” said Erekat.

Abbas also urged the international community to revive long-stalled negotiations with Israel even though his faction just secured its latest pact with Hamas, which openly calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.

“It would be foolish to think that the Palestinian people could ever accept the occupation or yield to pressure and diktats. It is delusional to think that the Palestinian people could be sidelined. We are the rightful owners of this cause,” he insisted.

He then underscored: “You should all know that there can be no peace, no security, no stability or coexistence in our region without an end to the occupation and without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question, which is at the heart of the conflict.”