Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian estimates suggest that Hamas will win legislative elections if they are held, a report by the Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom stated yesterday.
An Israeli security official, as well as other Palestinian and Jordanian officials, told the paper that despite the lack of political cooperation and severe differences between Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian authorities, the security cooperation between these three parties "is just similar to a Swiss-made watch."
According to the Palestinian Information Centre, the report added: "There is a consensus between Jordan, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel that the legislative elections, if held, according to Abbas' announcement, will lead to the victory of Hamas against Fatah, which will lead to strengthening Hamas' rule."
The report pointed out that those close to incumbent Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas know that the various polls recently conducted in the West Bank "clearly indicate that if the legislative elections actually take place, Hamas will win against Fatah, and that Ismail Haniyeh will beat Abbas in the presidential elections by a large margin.
Israel Hayom warned that "Israeli researchers at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs have pointed to a sense of criticism in the Palestinian street against Abbas' rejection of the reconciliation initiative proposed by the factions, despite Hamas' acceptance to reconcile."
Abbas, was elected in January 2005 as president of the PA after the death of Yasser Arafat. He has remained in power since in spite of losing the 2006 election which saw Hamas' Change and Reform bloc won 78 seats of the 120 seats in government.
In his speech to the United Nations at the end of September, Abbas said that he will call for general elections in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.
In early October he ordered the Palestinian Centra Elections Committee to "immediately" start meetings and discussions with the Palestinian factions in preparation for parliamentary elections.