Even Islamic Jihad is joining the democracy bandwagon
Interesting story translated today in our Mideastwire.com Daily Briefing…. Even Islamic Jihad is joining the democracy bandwagon:
On April 29, the Saudi-owned London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Ramallah Kifah Zboun: “Sources in the Islamic Jihad movement in the West Bank reveled to Asharq al-Awsat that the movement intended to conduct its first internal elections since it was formed in the mid eighties of last century. The sources added: “These elections were decided by the leadership and they will be conducted in a way similar to the ones organized by Fatah and Hamas. This process will be taking place within the few coming months.” Other sources in the Islamic Jihad in Gaza confirmed this information to Asharq al-Awsat.
“The sources added: “This decision was taken following a number of demands presented by many Jihad officials who were insisting that an internal structure be adopted to regulate the work of the movement’s members. As a result, the new structure would become the main reference regarding the formation of the politburo and the other bodies within the movement. The officials in the Jihad present in Gaza, the West Bank, in the Israeli prisons and abroad decided after a long and thorough reflection that this option be adopted. The main reason that drove the Jihad officials to demand that an internal system be installed was related to the differences that had erupted between the leaders in Gaza over the prerogatives of each official.” The sources added: “Other issues created a feeling of unease, namely the different views inside the Jihad in regard to the relation that should be maintained with Hamas and Fatah and in regard to the role of the movement in the resistance action…”
“[They continued:] “Known officials in the Jihad, such as Abdullah ash-Shami and Abu Hazem an-Najar, were the main actors at this level and instigated the leadership to put in place an internal structure. They also pushed for elections saying that the leadership should be elected and not named. The members of the Jihad did not want these differences to surface publically and this is why they finally chose the elections’ option. This also reflects a desire to broaden the activity of the Jihad on the internal Palestinian scene and constitutes an attempt to widen their activities beyond the military and resistance action.” It must be noted that a politburo was chosen for the group around two years ago, following which it was decided to hold elections after all the decisions were being taken by the secretary general of the movement, Ramadan Shalah…”