A Divided House: The Split between Fatah and Hamas

Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute who directs its program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, discusses the internal and external factors that created the split in the Palestinian government after Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. The United States and Israel would not accept the results of the democratic election and withheld funds from the new government, mounting a financial siege of the Palestinian Authority and demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancel  the results of the election and declare a national emergency. This led to a bloody one-week battle between Fatah, the dominant political party in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the party that President Abbas represents, and Hamas. Following Hamas coming to power in Gaza, Israel then imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip now in its 15th year. Elgindy discusses the impossible demands placed on the Palestinians by the United States, Israel and the international community and how external pressures as well as internal factors have led to the persistence of the fracture within the Palestinian leadership.

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