Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank started registering on Monday to vote in a long-delayed election that is aimed at healing nearly six years of bitter rifts among rival factions.
However, with no date yet set for either the overdue legislative or presidential ballot and with the main political blocs still bickering over their reconciliation drive, the chances of lasting unity looked as elusive as ever.
Hundreds of Palestinians queued up at registration centers to make sure their names were on the lists in case any ballot materialized, although many were openly sceptical about the possibility of a rapid breakthrough.
"There is very little hope. It is a bit like Satan's hope to go to Heaven," said 56-year-old Naeem Doghmosh as he put his name down on the Gaza electoral roll.