PA mission head to UK – elections can be held within months

Husam Zomlot said a technocratic Palestinian government can “unite the people.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Palestinian Authority (PA) head of mission to the UK said Tuesday that elections could be held within months of a new technocratic government forming in Ramallah.

Speaking after Monday’s resignation of the PA government in favor of forming one run by professionals, Husam Zomlot said, “This is not expected to be immediate,” but he thought it was a matter of “months, but not years.”

The Palestinian Authority has not had elections since 2006, with President Mahmoud Abbas ruling by presidential decree for almost his whole tenure in office.

Abbas has made noises several times over the years about holding a new vote both for president and parliament, but has always backed off.

His main fear was that his nationalist faction, Fatah, the major faction of the PA, would lose heavily to the Islamist Hamas.

This concern can only have grown, considering that after the Gazan terror organization’s October 7 invasion of Israel and massacre of 1,200 people, its popularity has skyrocketed in the PA-held territory in Judea and Samaria.

A technocratic government is the first step to fulfilling the Biden administration’s insistence that the PA must be “reformed and revitalized” before taking over governance of the Gaza Strip on the “day after” the Israel-Hamas war.

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This is part of Washington’s vision of taking the opportunity of Hamas’ military destruction to create a Palestinian state, something that the vast majority of Israelis reject out of hand.

Zomlot framed the establishment of a government run by professionals free of all political influences as an opportunity to bring the Palestinian people together again.

“It is designed to unify the Palestinians, their geography and polity,” he said. “The political landscape has changed. This is the time to hear our people, and not the time for political factions.”

Zomlot noted that Qatar and Egypt are conducting intensive meetings with all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to come up with a list of acceptable professionals for the new government.

“Hamas will have no members in the new technocratic government, but the very consultation with it shows that efforts are being made to show that Palestinian unity between Hamas and Fatah is achievable,” he said.

Moscow is hosting Palestinian national unity talks Thursday.

On Wednesday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki seemed to dismiss the idea in the near term, saying, “The time now is not for a government where Hamas will be part of it, because, in this case, then it will be boycotted by a number of countries, as happened before.”

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“Later, when the situation is right, then we could contemplate that option,” he added.