Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding


News, October 24, 2009

Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)  




Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Abbas Decrees Elections on January 24, 2010, Hamas and Islamic Jihad Reject it as Unconstitutional, Harmful to National Unity

Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject any unilateral step beyond the national consensus

[ 24/10/2009 - 09:44 AM ]


The Movements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have stressed their adherence to the Palestinian national reconciliation and their rejection of any unilateral steps taken beyond the national consensus.

This came during a meeting held in Damascus between Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas political bureau, and Ramadan Shallah, the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad on Thursday night.

Both sides also discussed the latest political developments in the Palestinian arena and the avenues to strengthen bilateral relations that serve the interest of the Palestinian people and their national cause.

In the same context, Mohamed Nazzal, a member of Hamas political bureau, said Friday that Mahmoud Abbas’s edict to hold presidential and legislative elections next January has no practical value, noting that there is political division between Gaza and the West Bank that does not allow such elections to take place without a national consensus.

Nazzal told Al-Aqsa satellite channel that Hamas would never allow these elections to take place in the Gaza Strip in the absence of national unity.

He stressed that Abbas wants elections according to his mood that does not involve any fair competition and delegitimize Hamas, accusing him of having intentions to carry out widespread electoral fraud.

For its part, the Movement of Hamas said that Abbas is no longer the chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA) after his term in office expired last January, so he has no right to issue any addicts or decisions, affirming that his edict to hold elections is illegitimate. 

Hamas stated Friday that it respects the democratic choices and its results, but such elections must be a fruit of the national reconciliation and not a replacement as Abbas wants, noting that this edict was issued in response to Zio-American pressures.

It held Abbas and his aides fully responsible for the consequences of this decision which would deepen the internal division and convert it to a historical rift politically and geographically.

For his part, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, said Friday that any elections held without a national consensus would be rejected by the Palestinian people because it would entrench the internal division.

In a ceremony held in Gaza to honor memorizers of the holy Qur’an, Dr. Bahar stressed the importance of the national dialog to restore the unity on the basis of the Palestinian constants and the Palestinian independent decision away from the American interventions and the international quartet’s unjust terms.

Dr. Yousuf Rezqa, the political advisor to the Palestinian premier, also said that Abbas’s edict to hold elections next January is a decision issued by a former PA chief and thus has no constitutional value, affirming that the government would hold a meeting to discuss this decision which buried the Egyptian reconciliation efforts.

The popular resistance committee, for its part, strongly denounced Abbas’s edict, saying that Abbas is not the representative of the Palestinian people after the expiration of his term in office and his decisions, therefore, have no constitutional or legal value.

Abbas’s edict was also deplored by the Hamas change and reform parliamentary bloc which said in a statement issued on Friday that the decision to hold elections next January is illegal and an unconstitutional step aimed to create illusive legitimacy.

In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that this edict was issued in response to the American demands which call for not conducting any reconciliation with Hamas before it accepts the international quartet’s terms.

Spokesman Abu Zuhri pointed out that the timing of this decision is linked to the phone call which Abbas received Friday afternoon from US president Barack Obama.

In a televised statement to Al-Jazeera satellite channel on Friday, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas political bureau, said that the elections which Abbas wants to hold next year would not take place in Gaza or anywhere else because there is no Palestinian reconciliation, stressing that his Movement has several options that would be used to respond to Abbas’s unconstitutional edict.

For his part, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan stated that Abbas, through such a step, confirmed that he only responds to the American pressures as he did with Goldstone’s report and does not care about any reconciliation effort, warning that Abbas’s electoral edict, although he has no right to make such a decision, would inflame the Palestinian arena.

Hamas’ PLC Block: “Abbas’ Elections Decree, Unconstitutional”

Saturday October 24, 2009 12:00 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Legislative Bloc of the Hamas movement stated that the decree of president Mahmoud Abbas declaring general and presidential elections on January 24 of next year, is unconstitutional and a deadly strike to national unity efforts.

The Change and Reform Bloc said that it will not recognize this decree and will not accept elections without unity.

The bloc enjoys an overwhelming majority at the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Hamas and its PLC bloc warned of the ramifications of this decree.

“Elections should be held by agreement and consensus”, the Hamas bloc said,
“Elections should not be dictated by the United States or Israel, we do not fear elections, our people are more supportive than ever, and resistance is the path”.

Meanwhile, the Popular Struggle Front also stated that Abbas’ decree increases the internal divisions.

“Any elections without consensus will not represent the will of the people”, the front said, “Should elections be held, we will not recognize their unconstitutional outcome”.

Fateh movement, headed by Abbas, welcomed the decree and expressed support to the president.

Bahar: “elections Without Unity Will Not Be Accepted”

Friday October 23, 2009 22:59 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Dr. Ahmad Bahar, deputy head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), stated Thursday that any elections without reconciliation and unity will not be accepted by the Palestinian people as such elections would lead to further divisions.

Bahar added that national unity talks, far away from American pressures and the Quartet are the only means to achieve unity.

He also said that the Palestinian people want free and fair elections, and that Hamas cannot accept the conditions of the Quartet Committee as a precondition for the elections.

The Quartet said that the Hamas movement must recognize Israel, recognize the previously signed peace deals, and renounce violence.

Hamas said that it is a resistance group fighting for liberation, and that it cannot recognize an entity that occupied and kills the Palestinian people.

Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad rejected any unilateral decisions and stressed on the importance of achieving unity before elections are held.

Abbas Decides On Elections Date

Friday October 23, 2009 22:15 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, issued on Friday a presidential decree stating that January 24 2010 is the official date for general elections; both presidential and legislative.

President Mahmoud Abbas - Image

In his decree, Abbas called on the Palestinian people in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem to participate in the elections.

The Central Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is scheduled to convene on Saturday.

The Committee will likely approve the decision of Abbas.

Abbas says elections decree irrevocable

Published today (updated) 24/10/2009 16:05

Ramallah – Ma'an –

Facing criticism from the Hamas movement and others, President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Saturday that elections would be held as scheduled.

"The decision is irrevocable," he said, speaking in Ramallah at the opening session of the PLO's central committee.

Abbas issued a presidential decree late Thursday night, setting the date for the next round of Palestinian legislative and presidential elections for 24 January 2010. Hamas wants the date moved back six months.

"This decision came after conciliation efforts failed and Hamas foot-dragging," he explained, slamming the Islamic movement for rejecting "Egypt's proposal to end the division constitutionally."

But the president vowed to nevertheless continue reconciliation efforts.

Abbas also said he hoped to restart peace talks with Israel, and confirmed reports that "bilateral American contacts are ongoing, since Israeli and Palestinian parties have failed to narrow the gab between their stances on resuming these negotiations."

In any case, the president reiterated his rejection of certain "Israeli proposals," including a suggestion that a Palestinian state be declared with temporary borders. Abbas reiterated his main demand, that Israel roll back settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.

"This isn't a Palestinian precondition, rather an Israeli commitment to the Road Map peace plan," he noted.

The central council was expected to hold two day sessions on a number of issues, including reconciliation and elections, as well as Richard Goldstone's report on the Gaza assault, what the council termed Israeli violations in East Jerusalem, and reforms within the PLO, itself.

Saturday's meeting was entitled, "Jerusalem is the capital of the independent Palestinian state."

Fair Use Notice

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent