Fatah eyes regaining control over Gaza before elections

Palestinians gather to mark the anniversary of Palestinian Fatah movement in Gaza City, Gaza in 2017 (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 27, 2021

Senior Fatah officials have discussed details of carrying out Palestinian general elections, but some have stipulated that Hamas must give up control over the Gaza Strip before polls can be held, Aram News Network reported yesterday.

According to Aram, the senior Fatah leaders Tawfiq Al-Tirawi and Hussein Al-Sheikh have insisted that elections cannot be held in Gaza while it remains under Hamas control.

In 2006, Hamas achieved an overwhelming majority in the elections, but Fatah, Israel, Arab and most of the Western countries and their allies refused to recognise Hamas’ victory.

Following security chaos, including the prevention of Hamas MPs entering their offices and carrying out their work, in mid-2007 Hamas took control of Gaza and government institutions. However, in the West Bank, with the help of Israeli occupation forces who arrested Hamas officials, Fatah took control.

Media reports revealed, according to Aram, that there are arrangements for a meeting in Doha between Hamas and Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah Revolutionary Council.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian factions have agreed to holding meetings in Cairo next month to discuss mechanisms for carrying out successful elections.

Recently, Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree to hold general elections, but there are many outstanding issues which must be resolved between Fatah and Hamas before they can go ahead.