In June the cabinet of the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who runs the Palestinian West Bank, cancelled the municipal elections. This was the third scheduled election the PA has annulled in the last year. The cancellation is despite recent polls showing the secular Fatah at 45% and Islamist Hamas 26%.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas won the January 2005 presidential ballot in the Palestinian Territories with 62% of the vote. In January 2006 Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council election, winning 74 of 112 seats.
In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah leaders reached an accord which set the guidelines for a power-sharing Palestinian administration. In June 2007, amid a wave of violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas grabbed control of Gaza. Abbas issued a decree to form a 12-member emergency government based in the West Bank and expelled Hamas from the administration. Salam Fayyad was appointed as prime minister by Abbas, and Fayyad has been ruling by decree for the last three years.
US and EU officials are wary of Egyptian moves to reunite Gaza and the West Bank. The Economist quotes an EU official saying: “The last thing many in Europe want is for Hamas to regain an executive role in the West Bank. We prefer division and no elections to reconciliation and elections.”
Come on our solidarity delegation!
The AWL intends to organise a solidarity delegation to Israel and Palestine in the second half of November 2010.
We want to promote the “other” Palestine and the “other” Israel — the people who do not get into the news, from Palestinian women and queer activists to Israel’s refuser movement and radical working-class organisations on both sides of the divide. Here are the basic elements of a “third camp” which can champion Palestinian liberation on the basis of unity and reconciliation between the two peoples. These forces are weak, and that is why they need our solidarity.
Last year, we brought Tamar Katz — a 19 year old military refuser recently released from prison — to the UK for a speaker tour. Tamar spoke to hundreds of people in cities, union branches and universities across the country. Now we are organising a delegation to visit Israel and Palestine, to make direct links and solidarity.
If you want to come with us get in touch. (You don't have to agree with every detail of our policy on Israel-Palestine to take part.) We will be staying mainly with activists in Israel and the West Bank, and estimate the total cost of being on the delegation will be £400 — sponsorship from a union branch, student organisation or campaigning group is recommended.
• For more info, email us Heather at
email@example.com or ring 020 7207 0706