GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Hamas-Fatah split only benefits the occupation, and there is an urgent need to establish a democratic political system which respects freedom and diversity, a member of the general union of Palestinian women in Gaza said Tuesday.
Speaking at a sit-in protest near the Palestinian Legislative Council office in Gaza City, organized by the union along with other women's groups, Zeinab al-Ghneimi urged rivals and other Palestinian factions to take responsibility toward the Palestinian people by finalizing a reconciliation agreement.
Meanwhile Najah Eleiwah, a senior Fatah leader, maintained that the PLO would remain the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO, she said, represented all the Palestinian people's aspirations including women's rights and equality between all citizens.
Huda Ulayyan, a member of the politburo of Fida, said the sit-in was a move to urge rival Palestinian factions to end the state of disagreement.
She said further protests by women's organizations would follow in attempt to end rivalry and allow the Central Elections Commission to work on the electoral registers in the Gaza Strip as a first step toward implementing previously signed reconciliation agreements.
Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled under competing administrations since a brief but violent split in 2007 between forces loyal to Fatah and Hamas.
The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank and Gaza controls Gaza despite a reconciliation deal meant to rejoin the two sides in 2011.
Elections scheduled to take place in October will only include the West Bank after Hamas prevented the Central Elections Commission from holding registration drives.