The new Palestinian Legislative Council, controlled by Hamas, has voted to revoke all decisions made by the previous parliament at its last session. It means that greater powers for President Mahmoud Abbas granted by the previous parliament, with a majority from his Fatah party, will be scrapped.
Fatah legislators walked out in protest on Monday and one deputy said they would ask the Palestinian Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
The confrontation makes it even more unlikely that Fatah will join a government led by Hamas, the Islamist group which won January’s general election.
Fatah legislator Nabil Sha’ath said: “This is a protest about this meeting, we will attend later meetings and we will discuss this with our leadership, and with their leadership, to come with a new modus vivendi and modus operandi, a new system that will really make it worth while for us to be part of that parliament and not overruled on order by the numerical majority.” Hamas insisted it did have the right to overturn previous decisions. Fatah politicians are debating whether to join the government. Some favour doing so but others want to stay in the opposition, predicting a lack of finance will quicky bring down a Hamas administration.