(IsraelNN.com) Some Hamas leaders are calling for the ousting of Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Abu Mazen following his declaration on Saturday officials postponing the PA's June 17th general election.
Growing in popularity daily, Hamas is interested in moving ahead with the election, realizing the terror organization will gain significant ground in Gaza. Backing Hamas' position is the PFLP terror organization.
PA officials have announced logistical preparations are not doable by the June target date and therefore, the election is being indefinitely postponed. Unofficial PA reports point to November as an alternate election date.
A registration campaign has made the Arab sector the largest faction in the Labor party. More than 100,000 Israelis signed up with labor, but police are probing charges of forged membership forms.
The new makeup of Labor party members will significantly affect the outcome of the party's June 28 primary elections in which Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres is running against four opponents for party leadership.
Arab membership rose more to 22 percent of all registered members, 50 per cent more than the last membership drive three years ago. Arab parties now hold nine seats in the Knesset and have one seat in the Labor and Likud parties. They probably will receive more representation in Labor if the new membership list is ratified.
Another significant change in the Labor party makeup is the sharp decline of members from kibbutzim, the historical backbone of the Labor movement. Their percentage among Labor party members dropped from 16 to 10 per cent. Their actual numbers dropped to less than 10,000, reflecting a move by members to the nationalist National Union party and the left wing Meretz/Yahad party.
The candidates running against Peres for the Labor party leadership are : former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister without Portfolio Matan Vilnai, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Histadrut union leader Amir Peretz. Observers say that Ben-Eliezer will benefit mostly from the increased number of Arabs. He initiated signing up 14,000 new Arabs as party members.
Latest surveys of public opinion show that the Likud and Shinui parties would lose significant strength if national elections were to be held today. The National Union and Shas parties would increase in strength, along with a slight gain for the Mertez/Yahad party. The new makeup of the Labor party, however, may turn supporters away from Labor to the right.
Jihad announces boycott of elections - Terrorist vs terrorist
GAZA, June 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Islamic Jihad (Holy War) announced on Sunday that it will boycott the Palestinian legislative elections whenever the ballot is held.
The announcement came one day after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas decided to postpone the parliamentary elections originally scheduled on July 17.
"Jihad boycotts any elections in conformity with the interim Oslo peace agreement," said the group in a leaflet."We must focus on resisting the Zionist enemy who continues violating the truce that was reached by the Palestinian factions inMarch," it added.
It also said, "The postponement must be agreed upon by all factions, especially by those that declared to participate in the elections."
Meanwhile, prominent Jihad leader Khaled al-Batch called for an immediate national dialogue of all factions to "prevent any negative results in the streets due to the postponement."
The delay has met with fierce opposition from the Islamic Hamas, who is set to do well in the first legislative race in its history.
Senior Islamic Hamas leader in the West Bank Hassan Yousef said on Sunday that Abbas' decision to postpone the electionscontradicted his pledge during an inter-Palestinian dialogue held in Egyptian capital Cairo in March. Abbas agreed upon holding the ballot on July 17 as scheduled in the talks.
Accusing Abbas of cornering Hamas, Yousef said the group insisted on a timely vote.
He said the electoral law that oversaw the 1996 parliamentary elections should be applied to the coming elections so that the ballot can proceed on time.
Abbas said on Saturday that the postponement of the elections is aimed at allowing him more time to settle disputes over a new electoral law with the parliament.
Stressing the importance of the elections, Yousef said. "Everyone knows that the elections will change the currentPalestinian political reality."
He said the Palestinian people should choose a new leadership so as to end corruption and resolve administrative errors over the past few years.
Hamas, the largest Palestinian Islamic group bent on Israel's destruction, has shown a good performance in the latest municipal elections.
The group has posed a grave challenge to the long-dominant Fatah movement now led by Abbas and seen by some Palestinians as ridden with corruption.