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MEANWHILE IN THE GAZA STRIP...

Prepared by: Michael Moran
January 11, 2006

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Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel, with U.S. prodding (al-Jazeera), will allow East Jerusalem's Palestinians to vote in a January 25 parliamentary poll (Haaretz). The PA had warned the election would be postponed (FT) if Israel followed through on its threat to ban the vote in East Jerusalem because of the participation of Palestinian militant group Hamas. Meanwhile in Gaza, tensions are rising between Hamas and Fatah (NYT), the dominant Palestinian political party, which as this CFR Background Q&A explains, is increasingly unpopular among Palestinians in the lead-up to January's poll. Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria says Palestinian discord and instability is the greatest threat to Mideast peace prospects, while CFR President Richard N. Haass tells cfr.org's Bernard Gwertzman peace talks are "unlikely to move forward" for some time to come after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's departure from Israeli politics.

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