Report: PA Preparing for Elections – Again (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/28/12)
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Hamas on Monday announced that the Central Elections Committee will
be allowed to begin preparing for elections in Gaza.
Palestinian Authority election Committee Chairman Haana Nasser said
six weeks would be needed to update voter registration in the coastal
The Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency reported two members of the
Central Elections Commission were denied entry into Gaza on Monday,
as a delegation arrived to begin work in the coastal enclave.
Ahmad al-Khalidi and Shukri al-Nashashibi were prevented from
entering Gaza by Israeli soldiers, executive manager of the
delegation Hisham Khail told Ma´an.
Israeli officials speaking on condition of anonymity cited "security
concerns" as being behind to decision to block the two men from
Several senior Fatah members have previous convictions in Israel on
terrorism related charges. Of note, the central figure in Fatah´s
plans to "retake Gaza" is Yazid Hawihi.
Hawihi, 50, is the odds on the favorite to replace Abdullah Abu
Samhadana as the Fatah chairman in Gaza. From Beit Hanoun in northern
Gaza, he was released six months ago from an Israeli jail where he
had served five years after being convicted of terrorism related
The head of the Central Elections Commission Hanna Nasser told
reporters at Erez border crossing that the CEC "did not come to Gaza
to fail," confirming that the commission would start work right away.
Nasser will also meet Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh.
Meanwhile, senior Fatah and Hamas leaders Azzam al-Ahmed and Musa Abu
Marzouk are set to meet Monday evening in Cairo to begin renewed
consultations to establish a transitional unity government to be
headed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The meeting comes one day after Abbas´ office announced he would be
implementing a unity deal reached between Fatah and Hamas in Doha
earlier this year.
Hamas leaders in Gaza previously scuttled the agreement reached
between Abbas and Hamas politburo-in-exile leader Khaled Mashaal by
adding new demands, which would have left Gaza completely in thrall
to the terror organization while granting it extensive influence in
Judea and Samaria as well.
However, Hamas has been under intense domestic and international
pressure to reconcile with Fatah and honor the agreement without new
conditions. Monday´s report is the first sign Hamas´ Gaza leadership
plans to compromise.
Earlier on Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with a Qatari
delegation seeking to advance the Doha deal. It is widely believed
the delegation brought pressure to bear on Haniyeh. Qatar – which has
pledged financial aid to the cash-strapped Hamas – aided in brokering
the Doha deal.
Radio Kol Yisrael reported the interim government will serve for six
months and will primarily be tasked with preparing for general
elections in Hamas-run Gaza and PA enclaves in Judea and Samaria
(Yehudah and Shomron).
Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said "the interim government will re-
examine the security coordination between Israel and the PA." He
added there is no point in peace negotiations with Israel because
a "political settlement" will not "liberate Palestinian land."
Problematically, the international Quartet for Middle East Peace –
the European Union, Russia, United Nations, and United States – has
demanded any faction included in any PA government renounce terrorism
and honor extant agreements with Israel.
Hamas has flatly refused to do either. Analysts say it is unclear
whether Quartet members intend to follow through on their threat to
suspend aid to the PA should Hamas join without meeting their
Hamas and Fatah have led separate governments in Gaza and Judea and
Samaria since Hamas seized the coastal enclave from Fatah in a bloody
2007 Putsch. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/28/12)
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