Abu Helal is scornful of Palestinian leaders: “They don’t accept change because they have power, they have money and they have corruption.”
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RAMALLAH, Palestine: The recent conference of the ruling Fatah party sent a disheartening message to young Palestinians: Most of those elected to top positions were in their 60s and 70s, signaling that politics under octogenarian President Mahmoud Abbas is an old man's game and that it is unlikely that fresh ideas on winning statehood will emerge from this group of veteran loyalists.The Fatah conference, which ended last weekend, crowned Abbas the unchallenged leader, boosting his ability to deal with the West and Arab states, pollster Nader Said said. Abbas has led the Palestinians since 2005, but has little to show for it. Fatah's aging leaders, including some still averse to dealing with computers and social media, may not be equipped to deal with change, Palestinian analyst Jihad Harb said.Hasan Faraj, head of the Fatah youth wing Shabibeh, lobbied hard before the party convention to ease minimum age requirements for candidates for the decision-making Central Committee and a second-tier group, the Revolutionary Council.Fatah once dominated the Palestinian national movement, but has lost ground over the years to the Islamic group Hamas.
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