A week has passed since an event which one might have thought would be deemed newsworthy by the BBC, if only because of its rarity.
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree on Friday ordering Palestinian national elections to be held within the next seven months, a move which could send Palestinians to the ballot box for the first time since 2006. […]
According to the decree, which was published on Friday night, Palestinians across the territories — in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank — will head to the ballot box on May 22, 2021 to vote for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
If all goes according to the decree, another two rounds of elections will be held afterward: on Saturday, July 31, 2021, they will vote for Palestinian Authority president, a position Abbas has held since 2004, and on August 31, 2021, they will vote a third time for the Palestinian National Council. […]
Presidential elections were last called after Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat died in 2004. The last presidential elections were held on January 9, 2005, which ended with Abbas victorious.
Palestinian national elections have not been held since 2006, when Hamas took a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Abbas’s Fatah movement refused to sit with Hamas or give up control of its institutions, which it had ruled since the Palestinian Authority’s formation in the late 1990s.
The subsequent tug-of-war eventually led to a bloody struggle for control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas won, expelling Fatah to the West Bank. The Palestinian legislature has essentially been inactive since then, as most power has devolved to Abbas’s executive branch.”
With Mahmoud Abbas having pledged to hold elections several times since his four-year term expired in 2009, some observers are sceptical as to whether or not the three rounds of elections will indeed take place.
Nevertheless, in line with its general record of minimal reporting on internal Palestinian affairs, the BBC has so far chosen to ignore the story completely, including the announcement itself, a postponed preparatory meeting in Cairo, an early ban on one candidate, the reported nomination of another and EU intervention.