web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


PLO: Battle for Succession Has Begun

There's no shortage of candidates for PA deputy president -- including Marwan Barghouti, jailed for five life sentences for his role in terror attacks.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Over the past few months, a succession battle has been quietly raging in the Palestinian Authority (PA).

This behind-the-scenes battle is continuing even as the PA leadership conducts secret peace talks with Israel.

In fact, the U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations have served as a catalyst for increased calls by senior PLO and Fatah officials to start planning for the day after Mahmoud Abbas’s departure from the scene.

Like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, the 78-year-old Abbas has been running the PA in an autocratic fashion since his election as president in January 2005.

And like Arafat, Abbas has since managed to keep many of his critics silent by providing them with funds, luxurious offices and vehicles, secretaries, bodyguards and assistants.

Many senior members of the PLO and Fatah, for example, each receive from Abbas tens of thousands of dollars every month to enable them to cover the costs of office rentals and vehicles, as well as salaries for their secretaries and henchmen.

Still, the funds have not been able to buy Abbas 100% quiet.

His controversial decision to resume peace talks with Israel several weeks ago has prompted a number of Palestinians to talk about the need for Abbas to end his autocratic rule.

It is worth noting that Abbas decided to return to the negotiating table with Israel shortly after most members of the PLO Executive Committee voted against the move.

Since then, Abbas has been facing increased calls to appoint a deputy president of the Palestinian Authority as a way of limiting his powers.

At a recent meeting of the Fatah Central Committee, one official, Tawfik Tirawi, did not hesitate to bring up the subject in the presence of Abbas.

Tirawi, a former security commander in the West Bank, proposed that Abbas appoint jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti as deputy president. Barghouti is serving a five life-term prison sentence for his role in terror attacks against Israelis during the second intifada.

Fatah officials said that Abbas did not comment on the idea.

Palestinian sources said that there is no shortage of figures who consider themselves appropriate candidates to serve as deputy president.

They include: Jibril Rajoub, a former security commander, Mohammed Shtayyeh, a former minister and member of the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel, Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator and Nabil Sha’ath, a former PA foreign minister.

Those who want Abbas to appoint a deputy are actually telling the PA president that they are fed up with his continued refusal to share powers or consult with others about crucial matters such as the peace talks with Israel.

Abbas’s critics often complain that he is keeping most PLO and Fatah officials in the dark regarding the ongoing peace talks.

There are only three Palestinians who know what is really happening inside the closed room where the talks are taking place: Abbas, Erekat and Shtayyeh.

Abbas has justified his refusal to brief PLO and Fatah officials on the content of the negotiations by saying that the U.S. Administration has prohibited the Palestinians and Israelis from talking in public about the issue.

But the peace talks with Israel are only one of the things criticized by Abbas’s opponents.

Several PLO and Fatah officials have recently been talking about the need for “leadership change.” They maintain that it is time for the Palestinians to start thinking of replacing Abbas’s old-guard regime with young and fresh leaders.

However, as of now Abbas, whose term in office expired back in January 2009, has shown no sign that he is willing to accept the principle of power-sharing. The battle for succession is therefore likely to intensify in the coming weeks and months, casting a shadow not only over his regime, but also the peace talks with Israel.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “PLO: Battle for Succession Has Begun”

  1. Daniel Cozza says:

    I’m hope a nomination a realist man.

  2. S'il y avait un homme réaliste parmi ces irréalistes…il serait depuis longtemps
    assassinés…!!!

  3. S'il y avait un homme réaliste parmi ces irréalistes…il serait depuis longtemps
    assassinés…!!!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Indepth Stories
Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Korenblit-022715

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

Councilman David Greenfield

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

Levmore-022715

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

“Je Suis..,” like its famous origin 400 years ago, implies the ability & freedom to think & question

Many anti-Israel demonstrations at universities have a not-so-latent anti-Semitic agenda as well

Believing a few “extremists” hijacked Islam is myopic in history and geography, numbers and scope

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Kerry and Obama must start listening to what Palestinian leaders are telling their people in Arabic.

Adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable.

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/plo-battle-for-succession-has-begun/2013/10/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: