Reconciliation hopes dashed as Fatah, Hamas make demands
Published Tuesday 31/07/2012 (updated) 06/08/2012 14:34
A protester holds a sign for Palestinian unity. (MaanImages/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – After optimistic remarks by Hamas and Fatah officials about a possible reconciliation deal, leaders of the rival parties posing new demands and preconditions without which there will be no deal.
As Fatah announced there would be no unity government before elections take place, Hamas posed the issue of public freedoms in the West Bank as an obstacle to reconciliation and elections.
The group said it would be impossible to carry out elections in light of Palestinian Authority restrictions.
Kayid al-Ghoul, a senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said Monday that both Hamas and Fatah make up pretexts from time to time “because both do not seriously want reconciliation.”
“If that was not the case, both sides would have started to implement the Cairo agreement which was signed by all factions, and they would have accepted the recommendations of the sub-committees,” he said.
Elections, says political analyst Mahmoud al-Ajrami, can only take place if there is complete public freedom. “Any citizen should enjoy the freedom to vote in any institution fearing no consequences,” he said.
The PA should take the needed steps to create the right atmosphere for elections, he added.
Al-Ajrami explained that preventing the general election commission from operating in Gaza was a procedural step which could be changed anytime. The real concern, he said, is to release political detainees, stop coordination with the Israelis on security issues, and to take a real nationalistic stand against settlement expansion.
For his part, Mustafa as-Sawwaf, a political analyst, asserted that elections could not be held in the West Bank because “the area suffers from oppression, absence of freedom of speech in addition to politically-motivated detentions.”
In the Gaza Strip, he said, changes and restructures are needed so as to create the right atmosphere for elections.