Abou Mazen's plan

A lot of food for thought in this MERIP article on Fatah's strategy for regaining control of Palestine's government:

It was not long before Abbas was conferencing with other Palestinian Authority officials, and key leaders of his losing Fatah faction, to determine how the presidency should traverse the uncharted territory of a Hamas-led government. Fatah’s top leadership, including Abbas, set two strategic goals: first, to work for early elections that would cut short the government’s usual four-year term, preferably in a matter of months, and second, to ensure that Fatah wins the second time around.
But as the article makes clear, purging Fatah and restructuring the party won't be easy. Yesterday's suicide attack in Tel Aviv, in which a Fatah dissident group may have had a hand, certainly does not inspire confidence.

Update: Speaking of the suicide bombing, the very elegant blog Tabsir has a good entry on the sheer futility of it all.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.