After the clearly apparent division in Fateh movement, and its effects on the movements’ poor showing in local councils elections in the Palestinian territories, officials of Fateh and the emerging offshoot part decided to hold a meeting on Saturday to discuss ways to unite their two lists for the legislative elections on June 25, 2006.
The agreement to discuss ways to unite efforts reflects the concern of Fateh officials and the new “Future” party which split from Fateh that Hamas movement is gaining power and wider public support.
Hamas this week swept municipal elections in several West Bank communities, reflecting a growing sentiment among Palestinians that Fatah is run by corrupt leaders who are incapable of instilling order in the Palestinian streets.
Fateh explained its poor showing in the local elections this week as an effect of the infighting after the young guard broke away from veteran party leaders earlier in the week to form Future.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, sent an envoy to jailed Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, to request that the two sides negotiate a joint list, Fateh officials said on Saturday.
Barghouthi, who is serving five life terms in an Israeli prison, agreed and officials from both sides were to meet later on Saturday
Older generation of Fateh blame the younger generation of the movement after they broke away from the veteran party leaders earlier this week.
The younger generation of Fatah split from the party in anger over its decision to nullify primaries in several areas after gunmen disrupted polling.
Also, Many Fateh members want to bring new blood into the party to oust the autocratic leadership that has ruled the movement for decades.
Palestinian parties have until the end of December to present their final lists to the electorate.
Meanwhile, senior Israeli officials said that Hamas victory in the upcoming legislative elections would make it impossible for the Road Map Plan and the peace process to advance.
Israeli Foreign Minister, Sylvan Shalom, reiterated his stance that acquiescence to Hamas’ participation in elections runs against the Israeli interests, and warned that Israel would obstruct Palestinian movement, and close the areas, during elections in the event the Hamas does run in the poll.
Shalom demanded Abbas to keep Hamas away from the polls, and said that “if he [Abbas] surrenders to Hamas or international parties which support terrorism, he will be taking a fateful decision to the Palestinian Authority and its future”.
Shalom said Abbas must keep Hamas from participating in elections since the group has carried out numerous deadly attacks against Israel.
Also, Shalom referred to the decision which was taken by the U.S House of Representatives which decided to cut the financial aid to the P.A if Hamas participates in the parliamentary elections, and considered it a “positive development”.