It is election season in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians are preparing to cast their votes in the local and municipal elections, scheduled to take place on October 8. The upcoming elections will be different from the last one, held in 2012 only in the West Bank, when Hamas boycotted the vote, allowing the rival Fatah faction to claim victory.
This time Hamas has decided to join the political fray — a move that caught Fatah and its leaders, including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, by surprise.
Hamas’s decision to participate in the local and municipal elections has further aggravated tensions with Abbas’s Fatah faction, which continues to suffer from deep internal divisions and rivalries.