In Palestine, rivals Fatah and Hamas have agreed to hold elections almost 15 years later, forgetting years of differences. Elections have been promised within the next six months.
Palestine’s fiercest rivals, Fatah and Hamas, have announced that general elections will be held within the next six months. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement controls the West Bank, while its rival Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip for years. The announcement was made after talks between the two sides in Istanbul, Turkey, for the past two days.
Speaking to AFP, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri confirmed, “This time we have a real agreement. “Our national interests have been severely damaged by the differences and we are working to end them.
Fatah spokesman Jibril Rajoub also confirmed this to Reuters news agency and said that President Mahmoud Abbas would soon issue a statement on the date of the elections.
Fatah and Hamas clashed in 2007, leading to bloody clashes. Since then, Hamas has ruled Gaza, a Palestinian territory, while Fatah controls the West Bank. During this time, several attempts were made to reconcile the two groups, but despite repeated agreements, no agreement was reached.
Prisoners were exchanged between the two sides for a peaceful alliance in 2012, and efforts were made by several quarters to form a united government two years later, but this coalition government only lasted a short time.
There have been attempts to establish a Palestinian state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza, but all of these efforts have been severely hampered by Israel’s attitude and differences. While there are differences between the two sides over the future of the illegal settlements that Israel has been settling in the occupied territories, there are also serious differences between the two over Jerusalem. The biggest problem is the Palestinian refugees who have been living in other areas for years and the question is whether they will be given the right to return to their areas.