What can Fatah and Abbas offer Palestinian people?

Palestinians attend a rally marking the 29th anniversary of the creation of the Hamas movement on December 14, 2016 in Gaza City. © AFP

Mahmoud Abbas managed to secure his own re-election as head of Fatah, and by extension his four other leadership positions (chairman of the PLO executive committee, president of the Palestinian Authority, president of the State of Palestine and commander-in-chief of the Palestinian armed forces).

He also got his decision to expel Dahlan and his acolytes from Fatah upheld, the main reason he wanted the Congress convened in the first place.

Abbas’ position may have been 'strengthened' in the narrow sense by the Fateh Congress, but the reality which few can seriously deny is that he has lost much of what remains of his power and legitimacy, as well as Arab and international support for his leadership and interest in the Palestinian cause as a whole.

The once-leading Fatah movement has been reduced to choosing between two disastrous options, Abbas and his camp, or his arch-rival Dahlan and his group. There could be no better illustration of the tragic condition of the movement which raised the banner of the Palestinian national cause and led it for half a century.

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