In 2006, Palestine held its first round of local legislative elections wherein the long-standing incumbent, Fatah, was defeated by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hamas. As the largest faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Fatah’s leadership was put under pressure by the international community, who perceived Hamas as a possible threat to the Arab-Israeli peace process. As such, Fatah refused to join in the grand coalition with Hamas, and President Mahmoud Abbas began to increase his power through presidential decrees. Inside the Hamas strong-hold of Gaza, politicians on both sides were assassinated and within both Gaza and the West Bank, both sides were increasing the size and capabilities of their respective armed wings. The Presidential Guard of Mahmoud Abbas received funding, arms and training from the U.S and Israel during this time. Tensions rose further, as President Abbas called for new elections to be held in late-2006. These did not occur, and the date was shifted to mid-2007. Skirmishes broke out occasionally. On July 10, 2007, sustained clashes continued and escalated and by the end of July 15, Hamas had consolidated its military control over the Gaza Strip.
Since then several agreements have been signed between the two sides pledging two form a unity government including the 2007 Mecca Agreements; 2008 Yemeni Initiative; 2010 Cairo Agreement; April 2011 Cairo Agreement; 2012 Doha Agreement; May 2012 Cairo Accord and the 2014 Gaza Agreement.
Hamas-Fatah Conflict (2006 - )
Framework/substantive - partial (Core issue)
36: Intra-Palestine agreements
Fatah – PLC member Marwan Barghouthi, Fatah Secretary.
Hamas – Sheikh Abdul Khaleq al-Natsheh – Higher Leading Commission
Islamic Jihad Movement – Sheikh Bassam al-Sa'di
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] – Abdul Rahim Mallouh – member of PLO Executive Committee and Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [DFLP] – Mustafa Badarneh
The prisoners document was written 6 weeks into the rule of the first Hamas-led government in the Palestinian Authority. Tensions between Fatah and Hamas were strong at the time. In 18 points, the document calls for the unification of Palestinian factions and a revival of the PLO as the representative organisation of Palestine. It also calls for the retraction of Israeli forces back to the boundaries of 1967, the right of return, and the release of prisoners; calls for reform of the PLO and the election of a Palestinian National Council by 2006, among other key points.
President Mahmoud Abbas called for holding a referendum on the document as a foundation for final status negotiations with Israel. In responds Hamas and Islamic Jihad withdrew their support and the document was renegotiated to produce a second version. Depsite renegotiating the document, Islamic Jihad remained skeptical on entering negotiations with Israel.
Page 4, 11. To cling to the principles of democracy and to hold regular, general, free and honest democratic elections according to the law for the presidency, the PLC and the local and municipal councils and trade unions and federations and to respect the principle of a peaceful and smooth transfer of authority and to stress on the principle of separation of authorities; the Palestinian democratic experience should be protected and any democratic choice and its results respected; furthermore, there should be respect for the rule of the law, public and fundamental freedoms, freedom of the press and equality among the citizens in rights and duties without discrimination; the achievements of women should be respected and further developed and promoted.
Women, girls and gender
11. ...the achievements of women should be respected and further developed and promoted.
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