Hamas Says it’s Ready for Election
It’s a message that’s been heard before but never acted upon, so skepticism is running high in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh said his group is ready for elections. Haniyyeh made his comments after meeting with the visiting head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, Hanna Nasir, in Gaza. Elections are about ten years overdue: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was elected in 2006 and there have been no opportunities to return to the polls because of the bifurcation of the Palestinians between the Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In 2007, Hamas staged a violent coup in the Gaza Strip, forcing the Fatah-PA out of the enclave. Several times over the years reconciliation agreements were signed by the two factions, but none of the actual examples of reunification were ever implemented.