Video: Fatah Members Wear “Suicide Belts” And Carry Knives To Commemorate Party’s Anniversary

Fatah-run Awdah TV reporter: “The Fatah Movement will defend the Palestinian national project. Fatah will continue to be like the phoenix that rises out of the fire and the ruins. Dear viewers, the anniversary of the Palestinian revolution, the 52nd anniversary of the Launch of Fatah.”

A young girl’s chant that encourages violence against Israel and glorifies death was posted by Fatah on Facebook.

…at a rally marking Fatah’s anniversary this month, the young Palestinian girl encouraged death for “Palestine,” for which “blood is spilled.”

“This is what Yasser [Arafat] called for…He announced: For the sake of Jerusalem my path is burning,” the girl said, according to PMW, citing a Jan. 8 post on Fatah’s official Facebook page.

At the same rally, the honorary plaques were given to the families of Palestinian terrorists Zaid Younes, who was involved in a 2002 suicide attack in Tel Aviv that injured 23 people, and Nael Yassin, who murdered Israeli Border Police officer Yosef Tabjeh in 2000 and was involved in dozens of other attacks until he was arrested in 2006. JNS

Fatah, Hamas To Visit Moscow January 15-17, 2017 For Reconciliation Talks

Hamas and Fatah will meet in Moscow January 15-17, 2017 to discuss divisions between them and work the ways of reconciliation.

The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences will organize a meeting of Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah to facilitate the discussion of the perspectives of overcoming the strife between them, Kayed Ghul, a member of Fatah political bureau said.

“The Institute of Oriental Studies sent us an invitation for the meeting on January 15-17,” Ghul told RIA Novosti adding that the delegation was expecting to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his deputy Mikhail Bogdanov.

He added that the discussion would touch on “the issue of Palestinian divisions and the ways of overcoming the current situation.”  SputnikNews

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview in April  2016 with Russian state news agency Sputnik, one of his top priorities is to reconcile with Gaza-based terror group Hamas.

In 2014, Abbas’s Fatah party joined forces with Hamas in forming a unity government. This was the first time both Palestinian groups came together since 2007, when Fatah took control of parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Hamas took over the Gaza Strip following a deadly and violent conflict. Continuous political disagreements between Fatah and Hamas eventually led to the collapse of the unity government in June 2015.

Regarding the peace process with Israel, Abbas called on Russia to take on a greater leadership role in negotiations, based on what he says is Moscow’s success in brokering the Iran nuclear deal and its involvement in Syria. Russia’s “new proactive dimension in the Middle East” will “restore peace and stability” to the Palestinians, Abbas claimed. “From here we wish to see this dynamic in the Russian foreign policy extended to the peace process between the Israelis and us,” he said.

Abbas criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he is convinced does not intend to form an independent Palestinian state. “Policies and practices of the government of Israel and the dramatic facts on the ground due to the ongoing confiscation of our land, building of more settlements and the demolition of Palestinian houses, leave no doubts about Netanyahu’s commitment to destroy the two-state solution,” he said. Algemeiner

Online:   Fatah: History & Overview
Hamas: Background & Overview

Palestinian Court Suspends October 8th Local Elections

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Both sides were afraid.

There has been no Palestinian presidential election since 2005 and Abbas continues his 4-year president term.  The Palestinian parliament has not met since 2007, the year Hamas seized the Gaza Strip by force, driving out Fatah.

No one in the leaderships of Hamas or Fatah will likely shed a tear over the decision Thursday of the Palestinian High Court of Justice (the equivalent of the Supreme Court) to postpone local elections in the West Bank and Gaza. These were due to take place on October 8; the court said it would reconsider the issue in a few months’ time. TimesofIsrael

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas has been using the courts to block some Fatah candidates.

Other analysts spoke of a tight and difficult race between the Hamas and Fatah lists and the decisions in Gaza’s courts (operated by Hamas) to disqualify their rivals’ lists one after another, sometimes for very strange reasons. This happened in places like Umm Zahara, Beit Hanoun, Nuseirat and Khan Younis.

In 2012, municipal elections were held in the West Bank “amid accusations of vote rigging and political violence from political rivals and human rights groups.”  Hamas boycotted and refused to recognize the election “as a legitimate expression of the Palestinian peoples will.”

Some analysts saw Abbas’s decision to call for the elections as a failed gambit since he may have been hoping Hamas would again sit out as it did in 2012. AFP

Some actually see the elections as a stop toward reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.  Too funny!

2016:  It was being seen by some analysts as a sign of whether Hamas and Fatah could take a significant step towards reconciliation.  AFP

2012:  Robert Serry, the United Nation’s peace envoy, had expressed hopes that these municipal elections would “serve as a prelude to general elections being organised next year in all of the occupied Palestinian territory in the context of reconciliation” between Hamas and Fatah.  Telegraph