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Majid Faraj, likely successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

The head of Palestinian Authority intelligence, Majid Faraj, is the Obama administration’s hand-picked favorite to succeed an ageing and ailing Mahmoud Abbas, according to several Middle East experts.

Abbas, now 80 and suffering from several medical ailments, chose Faraj in 2009 to head the General Intelligence Services, and he has since proved so much a favorite in the United States that he was secretly honored by the CIA last year for providing information that led to the arrest of terrorist Abu Anas Al-Libi, involved in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassy in Libya.


The CIA ostensibly honored him for “his efforts to open channels with Washington and with Hamas,” according to an article written for the Globes business news site by Dr. Moshe Elad, an IDF Reserve Colonel and college lecturer.

In truth, the reward was for Faraj’s helping arrest al-Libi, who had gathered information on American targets and carried a $5 million price tag on his head.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry immediately fell in love with Faraj, seeing him as an “officer and gentleman,” the perfect requisites for an American-ordained “peace partner” for Israel. The State Dept. is big on image and soft-sell and does not care about explosive content.

Faraj, in his 50s, is everything that the Palestinian Authority needs in its next round of trying to achieve the dream of shrinking Israel to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949-1967 and asserting sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

The “obvious” successors’ to Abbas are fading out of the picture. Marwan Barghouti, serving five life prison sentences for involvement in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks that maimed, killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis, is easily the most popular hero for Palestinian Authority Arabs. However, Israel is in no mood to free him, and his history as a terrorist, regardless of his “reform,” makes him less desirable for the American to pitch him as Israel’s greatest friend.

Other would-be successors are – or were – Mahmoud Dahlan, who was Abbas’ strong man in Gaza before Hamas’ revolution eight years ago. Dahlan has since been at virtual war with Abbas and has fled to the Gulf states.

Then there is Jibril Rajoub, former head of the Palestinian Authority security forces who was kicked upstairs to head the Palestinian Soccer League and has branded himself as irrelevant. Last year, he said that if the Palestinian Authority had a nuclear bomb, he would use it on Israel. Last week, he called the Israeli-Palestinian Authority youth soccer game, organized by the Peres Center for Peace, a “crime against humanity.”

Faraj, unlike the old guard “Tunis gang” in the Palestinian Authority, speaks perfect Hebrew and knows the Israeli system thoroughly, partly because he served served six years in several Israel jails. He was born in Bethlehem making him a model for the Palestinian Authority war against the “occupation,” unlike Abbas, who was born in Safed (Tsfat). Branding him a “refugee” from Dehaishe, next to Bethlehem, will win over the international media.

Faraj worked his way up in the ranks of Fatah. He proved his loyalty to Abbas since taking over as head of intelligence and has won the confidence of Abbas and of Israeli officials, so much so that his “black mark” among hawkish Palestinian Authority members is his cooperation with Israeli security authorities.

In 2008, when Khaled Mashaal said that the Abbas regime was illegitimate, he said, according to Elad, “We took care of every person in Hamas whose name was given to us… Out of 64 details on Hamas institutions, we took care of 40. Out of 330 bank accounts of Hamas people, 150 were closed.”


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


  1. If he continues to make demands and no peace – then it really doesn't matter.

    There are a half dozen agreements signed by Arafat and Abbas and absolutely violated to the Nth degree by the same. Worthless pieces of paper do not make any sort of peace.

  2. If Israel has strong leadership, who exhibits a willingness for peace but will not be pushed around by Obama and the international community to make poor decisions, the issue of who will head the Palestinian Authority, takes on a secondary role. As I have stated before and still believe, achieving peace will not be a result of releasing Palestinian terrorists from prison, giving up land, or weakening Israel's security by leaving unsecure and dangerous areas near Israel like the west bank and Gaza. When the Palestinians are made to account for their actions and the emphasis on concessions is placed on them and not always and immediately Israel, then we may see some progress in this long standing problem of Israeli and Palestinian relations. Really, a more important question to ask would be, who is going to be the next leader of Israel. For the most part, I have been disappointed in Netanyahu's performance in regards to the issue of not only the Palestinians but Hamas as well. The Israeli people were angry and frustrated, in my opinion, rightfully so, over Netanyahu's unwillingness to do what it will take to get rid of Hamas in the recent Protective Edge operation. Likewise, Netanyahu has repeatedly shown weakness and a lack of resolve in standing strong against Obama's pro Arab proposals. A big reason why the Protective Edge operation ended in the way it did was Obama;s incessant pressure for a ceasefire. At that moment, it was incumbent for Netanyahu to have said, mind your own business, it's my people who have been murdered from Hamas, this is going to end now by finally wiping out Hamas, and I don't care what you like or don't like, you're not the one who has to deal with these lunatics. The same holds true with "peace talks," and releasing terrorists from prison. But, instead, Netanyahu folded. If Israel has strong leadership, the Palestinians can put whoever they want in office, it won't matter because they will know Israel is not going to accept the status quo and if they truly want peace, the stipulations will not waver.

  3. A facile view exhibiting a totally unealistic understanding of the tremendous pressures, bordering on blackmail, of the present Washington gang on Bibi to toe the line. Tough talk from "arm-chair Generals" is easy, the responsibility of being PM of Israel is not.

  4. Should obamama have time to waste he will send out kerry again waste his time and the PM 's. That will cost him a lot of time, more of his long gone credibility and show how impotent he is! He is not even able to get…admittance to a golf club!!!

  5. RIGHT : MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS is what netanyahou should have told obama long ago. Unfortunately he is not able to say such a thing maybe because he is more a diplomat than a statesman. All he can do is rant and he does not understant the more he talks the more obamama with his african tongue will rant too asking a thing and another and starting from very high levels such as the …1948 borders!!! Knowing this the PM should not even start a "negociation" withh obamama. Mind your own business is the only answer to give soot face!

  6. The first and absolutely essential first step before any peace negotiations begin is for the PA to rid their Charter of the offending articles vis-a-vis Israel. You can't negotiate with someone who states in writing and verbally that you want to destroy your "partner's" entire nation. I think that the symbolic nature of this move, and its ramifications, would be huge. Until this happens, Israel is at war and should act accordingly.

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