Fatah radicals stage revolt against leader Mahmoud Abbas

debkafile reports: The turmoil in Fatah peaked minutes before the Wednesday Dec. 14 midnight deadline for registering candidacy in the Palestinian parliamentary election, when jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti submitted a separate list Al-Mustagbal (The Future). His slate included a member of Abu Mazen’s cabinet Mohammed Dahlan and the PA national security adviser Jibril Rajoub.
Barghouti, serving life for five Israeli deaths in terrorist operations, represented the Fatah radical wing including Tanzim and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists in rejecting the list of candidates drawn up by Abbas. The PA chairman dropped elected candidates in favor of non-elected veteran cronies, many of whom are accused of corruption. They included the unpopular prime minister Ahmed Qureia and Nabil Shaath.
Other separatist Fatah lists were registered by Nablus military intelligence chief Col. Mounir Fares and Ziyad Abu Amar, Abbas’ own representative in Gaza who gained the opposition Hamas’ endorsement.
Salem Fayyad, who resigned as PA finance minister to stand for parliament, leads a roster of pragmatists such as Hanan Ashrawi and Yasser Abd Rabbu, who signed the Geneva Accords with Israel’s Yossi Bailin.
debkafile‘s Palestinian sources expect the Fatah fragments to confer on closing ranks for the mid-January election as a split in the ruling party will further strengthen the main opposition Hamas’s bid for a 40% majority in the legislature. Barghouti figures twice – on the Abbas list and his own, which leaves the door open to scratch The Future.
The jihadist Hamas topped its list of candidates with Ismail Haniya, who presents a less extremist face than the real leader, the Mohammad a-Zahar, who twice a day demands Israel’s destruction. In contrast to Fatah, put together a strong, street-friendly list of candidates, composed of academics, university lecturers, social welfare activists, mothers of suicide bombers and jailed terrorists. Its main campaign slogan is: Hamas candidates are honest and corruption-free.
The results of municipal elections due out are expected to place Hamas well ahead of Fatah in most of the West Bank’s main towns.

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