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Palestinians Need Reforms, Not Elections

Last week, we reported that Hamas has gained much support in student elections in the Fatah-controlled West Bank. Now, as Western powers urge the Palestinians to hold general elections, Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh writes that that is not a good idea, as that would pave the way for a Hamas victory:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recently come under pressure from Western governments and politicians to hold long overdue elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But those who are demanding that the Palestinians hold another free and democratic election are ignoring the possibility that Hamas will once again win the vote…

Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to hold new elections, world leaders should be demanding accountability and transparency from the PA.

They should also be urging the Palestinian Authority to pave the way for the emergence of new leaders and get rid of all the corrupt old-guard representatives who have been in power for decades. Finally, the international community should be urging the PA to stop its campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel, which drives more Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and other radical groups, who assume that if the Israelis are as terrible as they are told, they might as well join the group dedicated to killing them rather than to discussing peace.

Tags: Hamas , Palestinians

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