Hundreds of Palestinian business people and professionals, led by an influential billionaire, launched a new political movement Thursday, reflecting growing disillusionment with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
Billionaire businessman Munib al-Masri, 73, inaugurated his "Palestine Forum" with meetings in Ramallah and Gaza, linked by video conference. Supporters said he would convert the new group into a political party and field candidates in the next Palestinian election. No date for an election has been set.
Fatah and Hamas have been locked in a bitter struggle since the 2006 election swept Fatah from power. In June, Hamas forces overran Gaza, prompting Abbas to dismiss the Hamas-led government and appoint his own, which, in effect, rules only the West Bank.
Recent polls have shown that about a third of the people have no faith in either party. Al-Masri said he plans to step into that breech, emphasizing the economy, education and welfare programs for the needy as well as reuniting the West Bank and Gaza.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>