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Young Palestinians: The PA stomps on any chance of political change 

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As Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to drag its feet toward elections, many young people in Palestine are becoming apprehensive with regard to their political system.

“I don’t think the new generation cares about elections or the president at all,” 24-year-old Ashraf Hamayel from Amari refugee camp in Ramallah says. “It doesn’t matter if they vote, anyway, because they will put [whoever they want as] president. It’s not going to be fair.”

Ashraf, who works in a coffee shop and is a part-time musician, tells me that he feels disillusioned with the way the political parties have been operating. “I’m not focusing at all about political views. It’s not that I don’t care,” he explains, “it’s just that I’m tired of it. Khalas, I want to live my life.”

“The majority of young people, they don’t care about politics,” Nihad Tamimi, 26-year-old filmmaker from Jerusalem, adds. “They just want a better life. So if they find an opportunity to be away from the conflict, they want to do that.”

READ: 33% of Palestine youth fear sharing political views online

Young people not engaging in the Palestinian political system seems to have less to do with lethargy or lack of will, and more to do with the feeling that their participation won’t make a difference. “I’m not joining parties,” says Tamimi. “I don’t believe in them because I think there is no place, no party, looking for [what young people want].”

This may be deliberate as the PA – controlled by Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza – makes it increasingly more difficult for political opposition to arise. Amnesty International reported a “repressive clampdown on dissent” in 2017 as a concerning........

© Middle East Monitor