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Mahmoud Abbas

Aliases and/or alternative transliteration(s):  
  • Mahmud Abbas
  • Abu Mazen
  • Abu Mazin
Note: this biography may be incomplete or out of date. Extension/update suggestions are welcome.

Mahmoud Abbas (b. 1935) was widely regarded as Arafat's number 2 in the PLO. In 2005, he was elected President of the PA; his term expired on 9 January 2009, but remains in the post.

Daud Abdullah reports (20 July 2009):

While it may seem unimportant to the Quartet envoy, younger members of Fateh bitterly deplore the fact that since his election as chairman of the movement in 2005, Abbas has never visited Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya or Tulkarm. Given the depth of his disconnection from his own party one can only imagine how politically estranged Abbas is from the general populace. Consequently, he has become totally dependent on Israeli, American and European security services.

This December 2016 article says:

It has recently emerged that, on the day a senior judge in the West Bank was appointed to his lofty position, he had to sign a letter of resignation addressed to Abbas. This might be the case with other judges. Thus, the president could accept his resignation at any time of his choosing, which is what later transpired. This way, the head of the executive branch ensures the obedience of members of the judiciary. ... In the absence of broad public support, Abbas enlisted the aid of foreign delegations. With guests from 28 countries, including UN representatives, he was given legitimization when they all promised continued support for unarmed struggle in the pursuit of establishing a state alongside Israel. Despite being fully aware of the undemocratic nature of his rule, these states continue to support him due to his clear positions, which maintain quiet in face of the occupation. However, a veteran Palestine Liberation Organization activist who is not a Fatah member says Abbas’ nondemocratic methods give his principled position as a statesman a bad name. The Palestinian public identifies his opposition to armed struggle and support for the two-state solution with corruption, nepotism and tyranny.

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