By Saleh Al-Naami
"In a radical departure from the position he has held since Hamas took over Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now maintains that legislative and presidential elections should not be held until the West Bank and Gaza are reunited under a single leadership. His prime minister, Salam Fayyad, worded this more explicitly. Holding these elections should be linked to "the end to the manifestations of the military coup" and the resumption of Abu Mazen's control over Gaza......
So PLO elections are not in the cards, and neither are general Palestinian legislative and presidential elections, the main problem being that the West Bank is still under Israeli occupation and Gaza remains effectively under Israeli siege, so that Israeli approval and cooperation would be required in order to ensure that the balloting process proceeds with any degree of smoothness. Israeli Interior Minister Avi Dichter was very clear on this point. On Friday he told Israeli army radio, "we will not approve of the elections until we can be sure that Hamas won't win."
So, as the situation stands, there appears to be a general unanimity among all parties concerned, each for their own very separate and different reasons, over the impossibility of holding elections in Palestine at this time. "