After Abbas – What Next?

Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen,  in January 2005  was elected as the President of the Palestinian Authority to succeed Yasser Arafat in the West Bank and Gaza, aka Judaea and Samaria.

The PLO chairman and was elected for a four-year term  after which there was ‘supposed’ to be an election.   The point is that he is now in the fifteenth year of a four year presidency and does not look as if he is about to relinquish the position.

He was born in the beautiful ancient city of Safed in 1935.  In 1948 during the War of Independence Abbas’ family fled to Syria.  He studied law at the  Damascus University where he earnt a law degree. He later obtained a Ph.D. in history in Moscow. The topic of his dissertation – the relations between the Nazis and Zionist leaders during the Holocaust – has led to accusations that he is a Holocaust denier, which he rejects. He has penned two books…The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism and Through Secret Channels

The word around is that the deteriorating health 83 year old Mahmoud Abbas is causing people to think about his replacement.

Abbas is known to be a very heavy smoker, which certainly doesn’t help his heart his problems, he has prostate cancer and has been hospitalised in recent times with a myriad of infections. The 83-year-old has suffered in recent years from different health problems. Last May 2018 he was hospitalised a number of times after an ear infection. His ill health sparked rumours about his medical conditions, which was claimed to be hidden from the public.

PA Government’s Facebook page posts map of “Palestine” that erases Israel – credit: PMW.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 News back in August 2018, Palestinian sources claimed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas‘ health had seriously deteriorated.  According to the report, senior officials who visited Abbas in honour of the Eid al-Adha holiday were surprised that he did not remember them at all, and that he only manages to work in his office for a couple of hours daily.

In the USA last February 2018, whilst in the U.S. to address the UN Security Council in New York, Abbas was hospitalised for time at a hospital in Baltimore to undergo medical tests.

The point is who will replace him?  Of one thing we can be sure it won’t be anyone who wants peace. They just want all of ‘Palestine’ which they claim as theirs and teach that to their children, to perpetuate the lie.

Among the strongest candidates are the leaders of Fatah, Mahmoud al-Aloul (Abbas’s deputy as party vice-chairman) and Jibril Rajoub, Fatah’s Secretary-General.

Mahmoud al-Aloul according to most reports is the main contender to take over.

The Jewish Virtual Library posts:

credit: YNet news.

In 1971, Al-Aloul was arrested by Israel for terrorist activities during the Six-Day War and expelled to Jordan. In Jordan, he became involved in the establishment of the Fatah movement and, in the late 1970’s al-Aloul moved to Lebanon.  In 1983, as commander of a Fatah military brigade, al-Aloul oversaw the abduction of six Israeli soldiers in Lebanon and then successfully ransomed them for the release of more than 5,000 prisoners from the Ansar detention camp and 100 prisoners from Israeli prisons.  

Upon returning to the West Bank in 1994, al-Aloul was appointed Governor of Nablus by Yasser Arafat. Al-Aloul was elected to the Fatah Central Committee in 2009, and was appointed Deputy Party Leader of Fatah in 2017.

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Although Mahmoud al-Aloul is not considered as a threat to Mahmoud Abbas, he is a man with lots of experience with terrorist activities and assassinations.

According to senior Fatah officials, two years ago al-Aloul tried to assassinate Ghassan al-Shakaa, a member of the PLO executive committee and former mayor of Shechem, who died at the end of January 2018 from a malignant disease.  BBC Watch

credit: Israellycool

Jibril Rajoub is Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee (since Feb. 15, 2017). He is also Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, and Chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee. He is a former member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council (until Aug. 2009), the former Deputy-Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee (2009-2017), the former National Security Advisor to Yasser Arafat, rank of Brigadier-General, and the former Head of the West Bank Preventive Security Forces (1994-2002)

Jibril Rajoub was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army truck. He was released in the Jibril Agreement – A deal between the Israeli government and the terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), led by Ahmed Jibril. On May 21, 1985, Israel released 1,150 Palestinian prisoners, including terrorist murderers, in exchange for three Israeli soldiers who had been taken hostage by the PFLP.

In 2015, the PA submitted a request to FIFA to suspend Israel, organized and promoted by Rajoub. PMW published a report, “PA sports: Prohibiting peace and glorifying terror,” showing the irony of Rajoub’s request, since the PA uses sports to further entrench the conflict with Israel and to send the message that murdering Israeli civilians is honorable and heroic. In 2016 and early 2017, PMW released two reports, “The Jibril Rajoub File” and “The Jibril Rajoub File: Special report for FIFA”  that showed Rajoub’s support for terror and opposition to peace building between Israelis and Palestinians.

credit: Palestine News Network

With control over the Palestinian security forces, Majid Faraj, the head of intelligence, is trusted by Abbas, Israel,and the U.S.  He is one of Abbas’s closest confidants and is seen a possible successor for the presidency.  Though he is yet another person who isn’t an innocent ‘being’.

In March 2018 Faraj was the target of an assassination attempt while visiting the Gaza Strip along with Rami Hamdallah, the PA prime minister.

Majed Faraj was born 1963 in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem where he still has strong ties. As a youth, he was one of Fatah’s most prominent activists and was arrested by Israel many times.

Faraj apparently has good relations with the US and Israel; in a rare media interview, he boasted about security coordination with Israel and how his forces have stopped attacks against Israeli targets.

Others include Saeb Erekat (chief negotiator in the peace process).  “What peace process I ask?”

There does not appear to be too much about him.

Erekat has been secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee since July 2015, when he replaced Yasser Abed Rabbo. He is also member of Fatah’s Central Committee (CC), of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel. He is a former university lecturer and editor of the pan-Arab al-Quds newspaper.

Erekat has been centrally involved in the peace process since 1995, but faced controversy over the release of the 2011 Palestine Papers, which revealed that the Palestinian negotiating team had offered extensive concessions to Israel as part of a two-state solution, including control of most of its West Bank settlements. Erekat required a lung transplant in 2017, raising questions about his health and his continuing role heading up peace negotiations with Israel.

There are other minor names;

Nabil Rudeineh, born in 1953 in Bethlehem, was regarded as a loyalist to Yasser Arafat and now as a loyalist to Mahmoud Abbas, travelling frequently with him.  Abbas appointed him as the Palestinian Authority’s second deputy prime minister.

Nasser al-Kidwa (diplomat and nephew of Yasser Arafat).

Candidates from outside the Fatah elite include technocrats such as PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his predecessor, Salam Fayyad, as well as former party leader Marwan Barghouti, who enjoys the greatest support in the polls but because of a life sentence in an Israeli prison, he is not a realistic candidate.

Another contender (acting from abroad) is Muhammad Dahlan, the former head of the security forces in the Gaza Strip and an Abbas rival. He has the support of countries from the region (in particular,Egypt and the UAE) and is actively working towards reconciliation with Hamas.

I don’t think Abbas will relinquish his position lightly.

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The information on the contenders in the main comes from:

Mapping Palestinian Politics provides an interactive overview of the main Palestinian political institutions and players in Palestine, Israel, and the diaspora. Its goal is to provide an easy-to-use, scene-setting resource for researchers, journalists, and policymakers ahead of significant transformations to the Palestinian political order centred around the anticipated departure of President Mahmoud Abbas in the near term.

 

 

 

 

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