President Abbas re-elected as head of Palestine’s Fatah movement

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Palestine
Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Palestinian Fatah movement has re-appointed President Mahmoud Abbas as the head of the political party during a congress in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Fatah spokesman Mahmud Abu al-Hija said the participants in Tuesday’s event re-elected Abbas in a vote “by consensus” for a new five-year term as the movement’s chairman.

Abbas said that the delegates’ presence at the conference proves their “decision to hold on to Fatah and its national program because Fatah is here to stay until it achieves its goals of liberation, independence and the establishment of the sovereign independent state.”

Tuesday’s event was the first Fatah conference in seven years and is planned to run for at least five days.

Some 1,411 delegates were expected to attend the congress, but approximately 1,322 took part in the gathering.

Abu al-Hija said Israel had prevented dozens of Fatah members in the besieged Gaza Strip from attending the conference.

Many journalists from Gaza were also denied permission to enter the West Bank to cover the event, with the union of Palestinian journalists in Gaza saying the move was “in line with the occupation's systematic violation of their rights."

The conference comes at a time that Fatah and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, are deeply divided. Hamas has ruled Gaza while Fatah has set up headquarters in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank over the past few years.

The rivals agreed to set aside their differences and formed a unity government in April 2014.

Despite having signed the unity deal, the two sides have failed to work efficiently toward the goal of the agreement, namely the formation of a technocratic government.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abu al-Hija said that an objective of the congress was to determine how to act amid the collapse of the last round of the so-called Middle East peace talks in 2014.

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