Middle East matters

Palestinian Territories to hold first national election in 15 years

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24
By: Sanam SHANTYAEI Follow | Stéphanie CHEVAL | Sonia BARITELLO | Marion LORY
14 min

After 15 years, Palestinians will go to the polls for a parliamentary election on May 22. The presidential vote will be held on July 31. Observers say this could pave the way for reconciliation between Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement – which controls the West Bank – and Hamas, who have authority over Gaza. This comes at a time when Palestinians in both areas are immensely disillusioned with their leaders. We speak to Omar Shaban, founder and director of the Gaza-based think tank PalThink for Strategic Studies.

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Meanwhile, Jordan is opening up Covid-19 vaccination to refugees. With over 750,000 UN-registered refugees and many more non-registered in the country, it doesn't come as a surprise that camps have become a breeding ground for the coronavirus.

Finally, Iraqi Kurdistan is still grappling with landmines which were laid during the Iran-Iraq war. These explosives continue to threaten the lives of villagers in the mountainous area. One former Peshmerga fighter has made it his life's work to clear them. Our correspondents Jack Hewson and Lucile Wassermann have the story.

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