Nov. 25, 2016
Abbas in a Race Against Time to Choose Successor – Yoni Ben-Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, 81, is not in the best of health. He has heart problems, and soon he will need medical treatment in Jordan after having already undergone a cardiac catheterization. Fatah sources say the movement views Abbas’ retirement as imminent.
- Abbas wants a successor who will ensure the interests and security of his family members, especially the future of his two sons. Yasser and Tarek are entrepreneurs who have amassed great wealth through connections with their father. Abbas has long feared that as soon as he retires, the new Palestinian leadership will settle scores, confiscate their assets, and even put them on trial. Many in Fatah already accuse them of corruption and stealing money.
- Abbas is intending to declare the appointment of a deputy during the Seventh Fatah Congress, which will be held in Ramallah at the end of November 2016. Abbas is under pressure since the PLO Executive Committee is holding discussions on the possible imminent appointment of a deputy. The existence of such talks indicates that the PA chairman has concluded that he can no longer skirt this demand.
- On October 10, 2016, in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Assad Abdel Rahman revealed that Abbas had told the committee: “Choose a vice-president from your ranks, or agree on a deputy from your ranks, and I will adopt your decision.”
- At the same time, Hamas, the Popular Front and the Democratic Front say that if Abbas is incapacitated, then according to the law it is the Legislative Council Chairman Aziz Duwaik (a Hamas man) who should replace him.The writer, a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center, served as director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Abbas Wants to Integrate His Sons into the Fatah Leadership – Yoni Ben-Menachem
There is rising anger among Fatah activists in response to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ intention to integrate his sons Yasser and Tarek into the Fatah leadership during the upcoming Fatah Congress. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs-Hebrew)