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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 13:36 GMT
Papers punish Fatah, urge Hamas reform
Israel-Palestinian Press

Saturday's Palestinian papers train a critical eye on poll victors Hamas, with calls for it to transform clearly from an armed movement into a new political force.

But the other major target in the Palestinian press is the former ruling Fatah movement, whose record of corruption and waste is cited by the press as the cause of voter anger.

Hasan Madin in Al-Quds

Hamas must behave as a political party and not just a resistance faction. As the party with the greatest power, its responsibility has doubled. Hamas can no longer act the way it has acted till now.

Ibrahim Sha'ban in Al-Quds

Hamas' overwhelming victory will transform it from theory to practice. It will come to see that words are easier spoken than implemented and that satisfying people is difficult to achieve. Hamas will have to provide citizens with their basic needs which is difficult even for an independent country, not to mention an authority under occupation and largely dependent on foreign aid.

Abd-al-Nasir al-Najjar in Al-Ayyam

Whether we want it or not, Hamas' crisis is ours too because we're all in the same boat it will lead, and if it sinks we'll all drown. Its problem is that we have an identical makeup. The stones that its supporters rained down on the Legislative Council building in Ramallah, the shattered glass and the blood poured on its walls, light a red light for us. What is even more dangerous is if these little sparks are the beginning of a great and destructive fire.

Husayn Hijazi in Al-Ayyam

We should understand that the vote was one of protest, punishing Fatah for its internal policies; it wasn't a vote about foreign policy. Hamas - who has received the people's trust to a level beyond expectation - should understand this and clean the stables. Its ability to do this is now crucial.

Adli Sadiq in Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

We can no longer bear those in Fatah who were responsible for our loss of the dearest thing we had: the people's trust in our ability to represent them. Whenever they felt weak they made exceptional efforts to corrupt or appease us. Nevertheless, we remain a rich movement with members ready to continue contributing to the quest towards freedom and independence.

Ahmad Dahbur in Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

Fatah, that led the Palestinian struggle for 41 years and established the Palestinian National Authority, should swallow its pride and seriously mull joining the government... Hamas is not doing Fatah a favour by inviting it into government, for, like everyone else, it knows that we are cornered.

Basim Abu Sammiyah in Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

The debacle that has hit Fatah neither reflects a drop in its popularity nor an increase in Hamas's. It was caused by a great percentage of voters who voted Hamas to punish Fatah and force it to wake up, practice self-criticism and reach conclusions. What happened was unavoidable, and the disadvantaged people and their will must be respected.

Commentary in Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

Fatah reforming itself is a national priority, and there are incorrupt people capable - based on their experiences in the 1960s and 1970s - to do the job. Look at Hamas - whose success was based on organisational discipline, choice of the right men and smooth transfer of positions. That is why the Fatah dinosaurs who fought off extinction through the movement's efforts have now become extinct at the hands of voters.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.





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