Votes are being counted as the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Fatah seeks to renew its 120-member Revolutionary Council following a similar process for its 23-member Central Committee.
The party’s congress is already being hailed a success, boosting both Fatah and President Abbas, and removing many in the old guard tainted by corruption and incompetence. Many feel they were responsible for losing the 2006 election and then the Gaza strip to rival hardline faction Hamas. Marwan Barghouti was also a winner, elected to the Committee despite serving five life sentences in Tel Aviv. But the man some say could reunite all Palestinians will stay there says Israel. “We will determine our position not by the personalities elected but by the attitudes and by the positions, which is much more important. Marwan Barghouti is a killer. Many Israeli men and women’s blood is on his hands.On top of that he continues to believe in terrorism, and said so in so many words,” says Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister. While Fatah now has a host of new faces they will have to work out some new policies if they are to regain ground lost to Hamas’s grass-roots activism and social work. And they will have to win concessions from Israel to convince the hardliners.