The exiled leader of the Fateh party’s Central Committee, Farouk Al Qadumi, said Friday that he and many other central figures in the Party blame Abbas for Fateh’s electoral defeat in last week’s legislative elections. 

In an interview with Ma’an News Agency, Al Qadumi accused Abbas and those close to him of ignoring the Party’s Central Committee, policies and charter, and engaging in a policy of corruption and misrule.  It was this pattern of corruption, Al Qadoumi said, that resulted in the murder of security leader Mousa Arafat in fall 2005.

Many party leaders live in exile from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, along with more than half of the world’s nearly 7 million Palestinians.  This unrepresented majority, many of them refugees in neighboring Arab states, are the focus of one of the Palestinian key demands in any negotiations with Israel: the right of return of Palestinian refugees (the other two are the recognition by Israel of the 1967 border, and the acceptance of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine).

While placing some blame on Abbas for the electoral loss, Al Qadumi made it clear that the illegal Israeli occupation is the real culprit, saying that any elections held under military occupation by a foreign power were illegitimate.  He said in the interview with Ma’an News that Fateh members should not be terribly discouraged by the poor showing, continuing, "I feel that Fateh was not defeated because the elections were not arranged in a sovereign environment.

Al Qadumi expressed a willingness to return to Palestine when the conditions are right, and took the position that Fateh should join a national unity government with Hamas based on resistance.

"I tell all Fateh members," Al Qadumi said, "Never to abandon their weapons, as the revolution is not yet complete."