Fatah leaders have been feuding over allegations that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah's Mohammed Dahlan conspired with Israel to kill Arafat — charges the two deny as scurrilous.Then again, I thought, the JWR is a good source of information but it is not likely to be supportive of either Fatah or Hamas. (The article is, nevertheless, fair-minded.)
Hamas, Fatah's hard-line Islamic rival, which wrested electoral control of the Palestinian Authority in 2006 and then routed Abbas' forces from Gaza in 2007, hasn't allowed anyone living in the isolated Mediterranean strip to attend the conference.
Many Palestinians have lost faith in a political party they consider corrupt, inept and ineffective.
Let us see what Al-Jazeera has to say on the subject. Oooops, not good. Divisions, screaming matches, accusations, counter-accusations and, above all, the absence of 400 Fatah activists from Gaza. (Actually, I am amazed that 400 are still alive and more or less free there.)
The Fatah conference suffered a blow before it began after Hamas, which effectively rules the Gaza Strip, refused to allow 400 Fatah delegates based in Gaza to attend unless Fatah releases hundreds of Hamas activists detained in the West Bank.That election of the new leadership bodies should produce some interesting results, assuming it ever happens. The BBC gives a summary of Middle Eastern media opinion and calls it upbeat. I wouldn't agree with that. There seems to be a great deal of depression at the Palestinians' inability to agree on anything and Fatah's inability to turn itself into a reasonable political organization, not to mention Hamas's somewhat high-handed behaviour.
The conference has split Fatah delegates from Fatah-controlled West Bank and those from Hamas-run Gaza.The Gaza delegates now demand a quota be set aside for them in Fatah's leadership bodies, and threaten repercussions - presumably a split - if they are turned down.
The West Bankers say the absent Gazans can vote by phone or e-mail and do not need the quotas.
Abbas is to decide on the issue later on Thursday.
Ynet News confirms both the argument about the method of voting and the fact that the conference has been extended.
I wonder if President Obama on his holiday or Secretary of State Clinton on her African trip is watching developments.