Photo: Reuters
Fayad. Threatened to resign
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AP
Ashrawi. New party?
Photo: AP

New Palestinian party?

Report: PA officials plan on establishing new party as alternative for Fatah, Hamas; Fatah primaries in Hebron end in clashes, forgery claims

In light of clashes in the Fatah movement, Palestinian media reported Saturday that three Palestinian officials, two of whom belong to Fatah, plan on establishing a separate party that will run in the elections.


According to the reports, the party will be headed by Palestinian Finance Minister Salem Fayad, Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi and former Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, one of the Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative sponsors.


The goal of the new party, the report said, is to create a third large, independent body, which will constitute an alternative to those who are not interested in voting for the Fatah or Hamas movements.


Aides of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas estimated that "the establishment of such a party is unlikely and it will also not pose any threat to the Fatah."


Finance Minister Fayad recently threatened to resign after his aides claimed that aides of Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia were interfering in his work, mainly pressuring him to pay salaries to hundreds of additional Fatah members recruited to the security organizations.


Ballot boxes set on fire


In the meantime, the clashes in the Fatah movement continued following the movement's primary elections held prior to the general elections expected to take place in January.


Primaries were held Friday in the areas of Tulkarm, Hebron and in a number of areas in the West Bank. Clashes occurred in all the areas, and after the votes were counted candidates complained of large-scale forgeries.


A number of ballot boxes were set on fire in two West Bank towns. In Tulkarm, a senior Palestinian security officer opened fire at one of the ballots, demanding to stop the elections due to forgeries.


A police officer and a citizen were wounded in the clashes.


Palestinian parliament member Musa Abu Sabha complained of large-scale during the Hebron elections, which were won by Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Authority's national security advisor.


The Fatah primaries are being held in Rafah Saturday, where security forces are on high alert around the town's voting centers.


Abbas is expected to return to the West Bank Sunday following a three-day visit to Italy. During his visit, and following Israeli complaints regarding the Palestinian conduct at the Rafah crossing, Abbas spoke on the phone with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and with European Union Envoy Javier Solana.


Israeli officials charged that, as opposed to the Rafah crossings deal, the Palestinians have not been transferring the images and identity card numbers of the people passing through the crossing as requested.


פרסום ראשון: 12.03.05, 11:31
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