Hamas and Fatah launch election negotiations in Cairo

Members of Islamic terror groups began meeting with counterparts from Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction in Egyptian-brokered talks focused on Palestinian elections.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Iran-backed Palestinian terror groups met with over 10 other factions in Cairo on Monday to initiate negotiations surrounding proposed Palestinian elections.

The Palestinians have not held elections in 15 years, despite Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ previous promises to hold such contests.

Abbas and his Fatah faction have maintained a bloody feud with Hamas since the terror group won elections in 2006 and ran Abbas loyalists out of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Fatah’s negotiating team was led by Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub, who has openly supported Palestinian terror targeting Israeli civilians.

Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri leads the Hamas delegation, with other terror groups slated to join the negotiations, including Islamic Jihad and the Popular Struggle Front. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are financially supported by Iran.

While the possibility of a Hamas-Fatah unity ticket has been floated for upcoming elections, Hamas’ participation in any official Palestinian regime would create legal and ethical problems for Western countries due to its status as a designated terror organization.

Both Hamas and the PA provide monthly salaries to terrorists and the families of those killed committing terror-related crimes, which is illegal under U.S. and Israeli law.

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Hamas has spent years building up its vast arsenal of rockets and other arms, bankrolled by Iran, which it uses against Israeli civilians in periodic attacks.

A Hamas win in the elections, even on a joint ticket, could complicate U.S. President Joe Biden’s plans to restore aid to the Palestinians.

Under the Palestinian election decree, legislative elections would be held on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31 — the first since Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. On Aug. 31, elections would be held for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a group “responsible for scores of acts of terrorism from its creation, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.