Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, have agreed to hold elections for all Palestinians within the next six months.
This election, if it goes ahead, will be the first to take place for Palestinians since 2006. Since that time, both Fatah and Hamas have effectively been running as dictatorships, ruling the Palestinians long after their four year terms passed and not giving a voice to their people.
Polls will be scheduled within six months under a deal reached between Fatah leader Mahmud Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh.
“We have agreed to first hold legislative elections, then presidential elections of the Palestinian Authority, and finally the central council of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” said Jibril Rajub, a senior Fatah official.
Saleh al-Arouri, a top Hamas official, said the deal was reached during meetings held in Turkey.
“This time we reached a real consensus,” he said, speaking to AFP by phone from Istanbul.
“Divisions have damaged our national cause and we are working to end that,” Arouri added.
It is likely the peace deals between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE prompted Hamas and Fatah to seek a unity government, although it isn’t clear how these elections will help move reconciliation with Israel forward.
Fatah have already started to show that these elections may not be the fair democratic votes they will claim them to be as rivals to Abbas and political activists have already been arrested within the last few days.