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Fatah sacks senior member, highlighting split ahead of elections

As Palestinians gear up for the upcoming presidential and legislative elections, sharp differences are emerging within the Fatah movement, leading to the formation of a number of lists headed by or including Fatah leaders, in what is set to weaken the official list and divide Fatah votes.
A Palestinian man looks for his name on the electoral roll at a school in Gaza City on March 3, 2021, ahead of the first Palestinian elections in 15 years. - A deal reached between Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to hold elections is aimed at renewing confidence in Palestinian governance ahead of a diplomatic push and talks with Israel. The parliamentary and presidential polls are set for May 22 and July 31, respectively. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Fatah's decision to expel longtime senior member Nasser al-Qudwa has highlighted divisions within Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' party ahead of parliamentary elections. 

In early March, Qudwa, one of the movement’s most prominent leaders and nephew of late President Yasser Arafat, had announced his intention to form a separate electoral list that he would lead to run against Fatah's own candidates in the May vote. On March 11, Fatah released a statement saying that it had given Qudwa 48 hours to reverse this decision or be expelled from the party, yet he failed to comply.

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