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Palestinian factions agree to hold elections, but are they really ready?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Mona Kandil
Press TV, occupied Ramallah

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Monday evening that the Palestinian Authority will hold elections after an agreement was reached by all factions to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in the occupied territories and the Gaza Strip. However, no date has been set for the vote so far. 

Some say there are still some obstacles which need to be be overcome before such elections. 

Abbas has also noted that elections won’t be held if Israel prevented Palestinians living in Jerusalem al-Quds from voting inside the city or even from letting them to vote elsewhere.

In fact, Israel will have to agree to facilitate the vote in the holy city; however, this cannot happen in case the United States doesn’t give the go-ahead. Analysts say what bothers those parties is what happens the day after the vote, in the fear that Hamas could win a large share of the votes.

The Palestinian leadership has been divided between Fatah and Hamas since 2006, when the latter scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has ever since been running the coastal enclave, while Fatah has set up offices in the West Bank.

The two rival Palestinian factions agreed on a unity government in April 2014, but it fell apart months later.

Observers today argue that Palestinian political factions might be taking a leap into the unknown, only because they have found no other way out of the internal impasse. However, it's still hard to tell whether these elections will help settle divisions between Fatah and Hamas, or the differences themselves will prevent the polls from taking place.

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