Mar. 15, 2019
- Elections in the Palestinian Authority still seem a distant prospect. The 2006 legislative elections, considered the high point of Palestinian democracy, were supported by most PLO factions and Hamas, and included the West Bank (including east Jerusalem) and Gaza.
- The vague prospect of future elections masks what is in essence a naked power grab by the Abbas leadership.
- The formation of a new PA government through a series of back-room deals, without the participation of significant components of Palestinian politics and territory, represents a severe blow to the prospects for democracy and national re-unification.
- With more than a decade since the last legislative and presidential elections, the Palestinian democratic fabric has withered. The now dissolved Palestinian Legislative Council had not met since 2007.
- Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank continue to suffer human rights abuses and attacks on freedom of expression at the hands of both Hamas and the PA.
- At a time in which the Middle East peace process has ceased to exist, the need to reform the Palestinian national movement is becoming ever more urgent.
The writer is a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
See also Hamas Declines Abbas’ Request for Parliamentary Elections in Gaza (Xinhua-China)