As Palestinians in the Occupied Territories begin preparations for local elections which are scheduled for next October, division and factionalism are rearing their ugly head.
Palestinian political platforms and social media are abuzz with self-defeating propaganda: Fatah supporters attacking Hamas’ alleged failures, and Hamas’ supporters doing the same.
What is conveniently overlooked by all sides is that the performance of Palestinian municipalities is almost entirely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
In the West Bank, local councils are governed by strict Israeli-PA arrangement. Aside from very few chores, village and town councils cannot operate without a green light: an endorsement from the Palestinian Authority itself conditioned on a nod from the Israeli Occupation authorities.
This applies to almost everything: from basic services, to construction permits to digging of wells. All such decisions are predicated upon political stipulation and donors’ money, which are also politically-motivated.
Blaming a local mayor of a tiny West Bank village that is surrounded by Israeli military walls, trenches and watchtowers, and is attacked daily by armed Jewish settlers, for failing to make a noticeable difference in the lives of the villagers is as ridiculous as it sounds.
The local elections, however, are also politically and factionally-driven. Fatah, which controls the PA, is buying time and vying for relevance. No longer having a major role in…