Fatah leadership is currently having leadership dispute over the fate of the elections. While Jibril Rajoub, Fatah's Central Committee Secretary, is in favor of the elections' conduct; Hussein Al-Sheikh, member in Fatah's Central Committee and Head of the General Authority of Civil Affairs, and Majed Faraj, Head of General Intelligence Service, are in favor of its delay. The PA's security has the final say in this. Fatah's leaders have contacted Hamas' leaders to persuade them into accepting the delay, but the latter insisted on conducting the elections on due date.
It is definite, then, that the purpose behind the meeting which the PA will hold next Thursday is to persuade the attending Palestinian factions' of the importance of delaying the elections under the pretext of the occupation's refusal of the conduct of elections in the occupied Al-Quds. Hamas' decision, on the other hand, is to attend the meeting and declare its position against the delay.
The Israeli Kan channel revealed that President Mahmoud Abbas had decided to send Hussein Al-Sheikh to Doha to ask Qatari officials to convince Hamas not to escalate should the elections be cancelled.
YNet, reporting from Al-Akhbar newspaper, said that President Abbas had informed the EU, Jordan and Egypt of the delay decision. The EU requested waiting until Thursday for the declaration as the Palestinian people is still trying to exercise pressure on the occupation to allow the conduct of elections in Al-Quds.
What are the future possibilities that await Hamas and the national and Palestinian powers after the cancellation?
First Scenario: Activating National Institutes in the Gaza Strip
The first scenario is abolishing the decree of dissolving the Legislative Council which was issued by Abbas in 2018, summoning the Council members to assemble and form a national unity government that brings together national and Islamic powers, including the lists of Dahlan and Nasser Al-Qidwa, and urging the Legislative Council to approve its formation.
The government would be responsible for lifting the siege, improving the services offered to the citizens, solving the issue of Gaza's employees' previous salaries, hiring Ramallah employees at the institutes and conducting municipal elections.
This government would be approved by several Arab and regional countries considering the involvement of Mohammed Dahlan, Nasser Al-Qidwa and other Palestinian powers.
It is expected that some Palestinian powers refuse to participate in this government. There will also be other obstacles that could hinder its formation such as the PA, and the Israeli rejection of Hamas' presence in any Palestinian government, and the nature of the relationship with the Israeli occupation.
Second Scenario: Short Escalation
An agreement has been reached between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation to stop the escalation after the Israeli attacks on the worshippers in Al-Quds, yet the situation is still shaky.
Once the elections' delay is announced, the people in Al-Quds, the West Bank, areas near the Gaza Strip borders will initiate riots. It would soon turn into a military confrontation, especially as the settlers continue to provoke the Jerusalemites and the Israeli army assaults the activists. A Palestinian faction could even fire rockets at the Israeli settlements.
Third Scenario: Large-scale Assault
The Israeli army could strike Hamas first if the security conditions in the occupied West Bank worsen and the PA fails to restore stability after Abbas' retreat and exit of the scene, and gaps among Fatah members deepen. This means Hamas' surfacing in the West Bank again, and directing the Intifada against the occupation's army and settlers.
In this case, the occupation's army would have no other choice but prevent Hamas from breaking free from the chains that have restricted its activities the past years.
This scenario is supported by the authorization given by the Cabinet to Netanyahu and Gantz to approve the launch of an attack on the Gaza Strip when necessary.
In order to evade the political crisis from which Netanyahu suffers, he might use the attack on Gaza as a privilege and a way out of the government formation issue and his own prosecution.
It is unlikely for a Palestinian government to be formed amidst the existing disparities and connection between the occupation and some powers and regional parties. The rage and hopelessness that are filling the Palestinian atmosphere indicate the high possibility of the situation to worsen, whether with an escalation round that does not achieve all the resistance' demands; or an Israeli assault that destroys the Gaza Strip but restructures the political map in Palestine in favor of the resistance.Source : PALM Strategic Initiatives Centre