(JNi.media) The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Monday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had told Jordanian King Abdullah II that he wishes to resign because of the impasse in the peace process. The two met last Wednesday in Amman. Gaza sources have told the newspaper that Abbas plans to make a “surprising” speech in the coming days, notifying Palestinians about his resignation and retirement from political life.
On August 27, Abbas announced that he, along with a few others, will resign from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee.
“Mahmoud Abbas last received the approval of Palestinian voters in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip more than a decade ago,” writes Ben White in the Middle East Eye. “He is now 80 years old, with no vice president, no publicly anointed successor, and no prospect of new elections any time soon.”
Syndicated columnist Ramzy Baroud has suggested that, at the age of 80, Abbas is concerned about his legacy, a fact Baroud consideres “hardly encouraging.” The Unity deal Abbas’ Fatah signed with Hamas included the restructuring of the PLO and the inclusion of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in one unifying, representative Palestinian government. But Hamas is furious with Abbas for not living up to his commitments. In fact, Hamas is now seeking its own alternatives to breaking the Gaza siege through “indirect talks” with Israel, using the good services of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
“There is no doubt that the moment when Abbas exits the scene has arrived,” writes Baroud, adding, “That could either become a transition into yet another sorry legacy of an undemocratic Palestinian leadership or it could serve as an opportunity for Palestinians, fed up with the endemic corruption, political tribalism and across-the-board failure, to step forward and challenge the moral collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the charade of self-serving ‘democracy’ of factions and individuals.”