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Palestinian election reveals hostility to Abbas

Palestinian election reveals widespread hostility to Abbas

By Rick Kelly – World Socialist Web Site
23 January 2006

Elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, scheduled for January 25, are set to deepen the political crisis facing President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Public hostility to Abbas over its readiness to abide by the dictates of Washington and Tel Aviv has exacerbated the anger generated by the corruption and nepotism of the PA regime—manifest in the worsening social inequalities within the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The main beneficiary has been the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas. While the Islamists are seeking to bolster their position by negotiating a power-sharing agreement with Fatah, the PA might yet cancel the elections using the pretext of Israel’s severe restriction on the right of Palestinians in east Jerusalem to vote and other anti-democratic measures.

For its part, Israel has been targeting Hamas for persecution and demanding that the PA clamp down on it and other militant groups—policies that could well fan the factional flames in the Occupied Territories into a civil war.

The Bush administration has repeatedly hailed both the Palestinian presidential election last January and the pending legislative elections as evidence of the US-sponsored expansion of “freedom” and “democracy” in the Middle East. In reality, the exercise has nothing to do with democracy. The election campaign has only served to demonstrate the Israeli occupation forces’ domination of every aspect of Palestinian political and social life.

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