Fatah-Hamas Power Struggle Looms

(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - The new Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council is seen by many Palestinians as marking the beginning of a bitter power struggle between the Islamic movement and the ruling Fatah party. The new PLC, as well as the cabinet that is expected to be formed in the next few weeks, will make life extremely difficult for Abbas and many lawmakers are convinced he eventually will be forced to resign. Hamas has already announced that it would cancel laws that were passed by the PLC after the elections. Moreover, Hamas said it would not accept any decisions taken by Abbas in the past few days, such as the appointment or promotion of officials. "One authority, headed by Abbas, will sit in the Mukata in Ramallah," said an independent legislator, "while the other one, led by Hamas, will be based in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may have won the election, but Fatah has no intention of handing it the victory on a silver platter." Ismail Haniyeh, 46, a close associate of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and a leader of the more pragmatic wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is the group's choice for prime minister, a Hamas official said Thursday.

2006-02-17 00:00:00

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