After the departure of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Yasser Abed Rabbo has confirmed Ramallah's determination to have elections in September, without giving a specific date. Rabbo, signalling to Hamas and its leadership in Gaza, continued, "We call on parties to put aside all of their differences and to focus on conducting the elections by September at the latest."
However, Hamas is determined not to take the offer. Its spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on Saturday:
Hamas will not participate or recognize or give any cover for this election and we consider this announcement a conspiracy against the Palestinian people. Hamas believes in elections but elections can come only after [political] reconciliation.
In a second step, the Palestinian Authority's top negotiator Saeb Erekat quit in the wake of the scandal over the leak of more than 16,000 "Palestine Papers" revealing the PA's manoeuvres on talks with Israel and on Gaza: "If there was any security failure in my office, then I am responsible. For that, I have resigned."
Still, as protesters march in other Arab countries, this may not be enough for Ramallah to be secure from an uprising. This morning, it is reported that a "massive change" is expected in West Bank Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's Cabinet. More Erekats are expected to give their resignations for a "fresh' face to the region and to the Palestinian people.