The first Fatah convention in twenty years was the scene of acrimonious disputes over the future of the Palestinian people. The old guard which has controlled the party for decades faced the voices of younger Palestinians who are tired of graft, corruption, and incompetence among their leaders. However, Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of Fatah, and hopefully, president of an independent Palestinian state when it finally comes into existence.
“This convention must be a new beginning for the Fatah movement,” declared Abbas. He agreed there had been numerous prior attempts to launch a new direction, but too often the dream never became a reality. Most of the delegates seek to find the means of uniting with Hamas in order to prevent a united front to Israel. As King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has emphasized, there would never be a Palestinian state, “as long as the Palestinian house is divided.”