Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org


"Palestinian deputy prime minister and Fatah's
campaign manager, Nabil Shaath, has said that no
definitive decision on the elections will be made until
24 January, the day before polling day."

MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 19 January: In the end it may be that the failing remnants of the disgraced 'Palestinian Authority' -- after so many years of miserable corruption and co-optation -- are now too weak and fractured to even manage to 'postpone' the long-promised Legislative election. Until now, one way or another, they had managed to put off this day of reconning -- always of course with the abundant under-the-table help of the Americans, Israelis,and Europeans -- for nearly a decade. Now the past is coming back to haunt the PA -- and their godfathers as well.
Having so badly fractured and tortured the Palestinian people the U.S. and Israel are now witnessing the results of their horrendous combination of subterfuge, repression, and deadly dealings. About half of the Palestinian people after all, now scattered throughout the Middle East, can't vote at all according to the occupiers. Those who can are now everywhere controlled and manipulated by the Israelis and the Americans -- for they are now more like Indians on reservations or Blacks in the days of Bantustans than the proud people of the once Holy Land they once were.
Even now the PA 'Prime Minister', the Palestinian VIP long connected with both the CIA Americans and the Mossad Israelis, Nabil Sha'ath, is saying out loud that the now-prostrate PA won't decide until the day before whether or not this already fatally-twisted election will actually take place. What Chutzpah this Sha'ath displayeth. Those who have read MER for years will remember that long ago there was a movement we endorsed in the Ramallah Legislature to not only have Sha'ath thrown out but brought up on corruption charges and imprisoned. But thanks to his American and Israeli protectors Sha'ath remains at the center of power and continues to manipulate things up to the last minute forcing them if at all possible to go the way of the PA, Israel, and the U.S.

Fatah Accused of Trying to Cancel Election

(IsraelNN.com - 13 January) Part of the ruling Fatah party in the Palestinian Authority (PA) is operating to scuttle the legislative elections planned for January 25, according to the Arab news web site Al-Jazeera.

It reported that the PA's failure to stop anarchy has prompted charges it wants a reason to postpone the vote if polls show that Fatah will lose. The PA deputy prime minister and campaign manager for Fatah, Nabil Shaath, has said that a final decision on holding the elections will be made one day before the vote.

Fatah accused of sabotaging vote

Critics say Fatah would postpone the vote rather than lose face

Al-Jazeera, 12 January: The Palestinian leadership's failure to rein in militants operating in its name is prompting accusations that elements within the ruling Fatah faction are seeking a pretext to call off elections due in less than two weeks' time.

Deadly violence and kidnappings of foreigners, blamed on militants loyal to Fatah, have created a climate of insecurity in the Gaza Strip that Fatah opponents and analysts argue is intended to create a reason for postponing the vote if the party, which has dominated government for a long time, looks like losing.

Hamas, the Islamist group, is taking part for the first time in what are only the second Palestinian parliamentary elections and is expected to give Fatah a run for its money.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, has said that the elections will go ahead as planned after he received US assurances that Israel would allow voting in occupied and annexed east Jerusalem.

Lack of clarity

But Washington has since said it has no position on the issue and Israel says a decision will be made only after a cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"They commit these acts because they have found no other solution"
'Abu Qusay', Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades

Consequently the Palestinian deputy prime minister and Fatah's campaign manager, Nabil Shaath, has said that no definitive decision on the elections will be made until 24 January, the day before polling day.

Jihad Hamad, a political scientist at Gaza University, said the Fatah leadership had made a serious error in not purging elements within the party that had no interest in a strong state that might deprive them of their longstanding privileges and powers of patronage.

"If Fatah sees that it is losing power, it won't accept it and will try to disrupt the electoral process," he said.

Hani Habib, another political analyst, said "Fatah officials want to maintain a chaotic situation" to serve their own interests. "The armed groups are resorting to these tactics as a form of protest," he said. "Before they were fighting against Israel but since the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, their militants are out of work and the Palestinian Authority has failed to resolve this growing problem."

Militants opposed to Fatah said the problem was that the movement's leaders had established armed offshoots during the five-year uprising that lacked any real programme or discipline.

Last resort

A commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the largest Fatah offshoot, condemned the kidnappings as the actions of renegades, but expressed sympathy for their plight amid the chronic unemployment plaguing the territory and the Palestinian leadership's inability to offer them an alternative role.

The commander, giving his name as Abu Qusay, said: "The kidnappers carry out their actions on their own behalf. They are facing poverty and are asking for a better life. They commit these acts because they've found no other solution."


In a message from his prison cell in Israel on Wednesday, Marwan Barghuti, the intifada leader who is heading the Fatah list into the elections despite having been sentenced to five life terms, hit out at the actions of the militants and called for a massive turnout for the vote.

But a spokesman for Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhra, was in no doubt that the violence was a deliberate ploy to force the postponement of the vote and said his movement would not accept it.

"The motives behind the security chaos are known - the goal is to block the elections on the pretext that the security conditions are unacceptable," he said.

Hamas support grows after Israelis shoot militant leader

By Donald Macintyre in Hizma, West Bank

< style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">The Independent, UK - 18 January 2006: The green Hamas flags were fluttering from the rooftops against a cold grey sky when they brought the body of the militant Thabet Ayyadeh home yesterday. As the mourners began making their way towards the cemetery they could hear repeated bursts of Israeli gunfire - directed into the air as a warning - to deter the teenagers throwing stones at the waiting police jeeps.

Mohammed Abu Tir, number two on Hamas's national list of parliamentary candidates, had arrived in good time to pay his condolences to the dead 24-year-old's tearful brother Ziad. As the January rain began to fall, they kissed three times before Ziad Ayyadeh, 36, declared: "It is a positive thing because people now will vote for Hamas."

The Israeli army said Thabet Ayyadeh, a leader of Hamas's military wing, was shot dead in the early hours of yesterday when he opened fire, slightly wounding a soldier, as he ran out of a house which the army had been surrounding in Tulkarem with the intention of arresting him.

His older brother reminded the Hamas leader that the dead man had not been the family's first "martyr". For in November 2001, another brother, Moayed, who at the age of 16 had met Mohammed Abu Tir in jail during the latter's 20 year imprisonment, had blown himself up injuring two Israeli commandos. "You were his teacher," he told the candidate respectfully. "You were responsible for forming his character."

Mr Abu Tir replied that he saw the two dead brothers as "sons" and added: "They did their duty. The blood of martyrs is precious to us." He was quick to add: "We have not come here to use the incident for the election. I participate in events like this without elections."

Nevertheless Mr Abu Tir's presence at this West Bank funeral was a reminder that for all Hamas's appeal to voters who were fed up with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and its reputation for inefficiency and corruption, its leading candidates, fighting under the banner of "Change and Reform", were making no effort to distance themselves from the faction's past record of armed militancy.

Two rival candidates also attending the funeral in Thabet Ayyadeh's impoverished home village of Hizma, encircled by the separation barrier and the settlements to the north-east of Jerusalem, made clear their fears that the killing would help Hamas when voters elected a new Palestinian Legislative Council for the first time in nearly a decade next Wednesday.

Hatem Abbas, a prominent local Fatah activist who is standing as an independent, said it would have an "indirect" impact on the election. "People will show solidarity with the martyrs and the organisation they belong to."

And Hassan Ispeh, a candidate for Mustafa Barghouti's Independent Palestine party, which is against the use of arms, said: "This will be negative for me. This man is from Hizma and the vote will be higher now for Hamas in Hizma and Tulkarem."

But with 50 per cent unemployment it may be other issues that finally decide how the people of Hizma vote. Hamdan Nimr, 52, who used to run a construction company which did work as far way as Tel Aviv but now has no work, said he would not vote at all. As long as Israel is here it's useless to vote. What can the PA do? Even the President needs a permit from Israel. We are in a prison here."

As he spoke at the side of the lane descending from the Ayyadeh family house, the young men brought down the body, draped with a green Hamas banner, chanting in unison: "We sacrifice our blood and soul for the martyr. There is no God but only one God and the martyr is the one blessed by God."

Watching the procession Mr Nimr added reflectively: "Most people here will vote for Hamas because the peace process has failed. If you don't have hope, you vote for Hamas."

Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org

Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2006/1/1321.htm