Fatah, breakaway party reunite

Unified list for PLC elections ends split that bolstered Hamas' prospects.

gunman raising head 88 (photo credit: )
gunman raising head 88
(photo credit: )
The Palestinians' ruling Fatah Party will submit a single, unified list for Jan. 25 parliamentary elections, ending a split that threatened to bolster the electoral prospects of Hamas, two senior party activists said Wednesday. Fatah's so-called "young guard," led by imprisoned imprisoned Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti, had split off from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. But after intense negotiations the sides decided to unify. Two young guard members, Ahmed Ghneim and Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan, announced the unification at a news conference on Wednesday. "We affirm here that we are going to this election with one list. We are going to elections unified in Fatah to achieve a victory," said Dahlan. Ghneim said only some of the young guard's demands were met, but that the sides would join forces to ensure an election victory. The announcement came after Palestinian police exchanged fire with some 60 gunmen who took over an election office in Gaza City. No injuries were immediately reported. The gunmen were demanding the elimination of "old guard" candidates in a list for Jan. 25 parliamentary election. Gunmen took over four election offices in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday. Police rapidly brought in large numbers of reinforcements and the gunmen left the area. Police set up roadblocks and surrounded the building to ensure the gunmen don't return. The gunmen were opposed to the inclusion of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and Cabinet minister Nabil Shaath to the list. Instead, they demanded the two old-time politicians be forced to run in a district election.