TITLE

The Future of Palestine

AUTHOR(S)
Shikaki, Khalil
PUB. DATE
November 2004
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Nov/Dec2004, Vol. 83 Issue 6, p45
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Essay
ABSTRACT
The article discusses why the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing its most serious internal challenge since it was established in 1994. A violent showdown in the Gaza Strip between competing nationalist factions has threatened to destroy the PA and domestic security after four years of uprising against Israel. The turmoil represents a critical danger, not just for Palestinian society and its dreams of a unified state, but also for Israel's plan to disengage unilaterally from Gaza. If Israel implements Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Palestinian society will fragment even more, lose the benefit of unified representation, and possibly lapse into bloody infighting. But it is not too late to change course: holding Palestinian national elections before Israel's withdrawal could prevent chaos and help establish the foundations for a democratic Palestinian state committed to peaceful relations with Israel. For all the hope that elections offer, conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are not now conducive to holding them: the ongoing violence would make it difficult for voters to reach the ballot box. Palestinian factions must reach an understanding on a complete cease-fire during the election period. The U.S. and other international actors must ensure that the Palestinians and Israel implement their election-related commitments.
ACCESSION #
14815889

 

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