The End of Mahmoud Abbas? The 88-Year-Old Is Said To Be Seriously Ill

The power struggle to succeed the Palestinian president could begin very soon, and have a heavy impact on Israel.

By Michael Selutin | | Topics: palestinians
Mahmoud Abbas. Photo by Flash90
Mahmoud Abbas. Photo by Flash90

The Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reports that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ condition has deteriorated to the point where he may not be able to carry out his duties.

Sources in Abbas’ Fatah party told the newspaper the Palestinian Authority leader was scheduled to undergo extensive tests at a hospital, but due to his weakness, doctors were called to the presidential compound in Ramallah. The newspaper pointed out that Abbas recently underwent urgent medical treatment in Jordan.

“Recently, the heads of Fatah’s Central Committee reviewed the medical reports on his health and began preparing the next phase of the struggle to replace Mahmoud Abbas,” a senior official said.

Abbas, 88, is in the 19th year of his four-year term as President of the Palestinian Authority. He has refused to hold elections since his official term ended in 2009 and has yet to appoint a successor.


Course change?

For Israel, an end to the Abbas era is unlikely to mean an end to Palestinian terror. Hatred of Jews is deeply rooted in Palestinian society. There has also been no challenger to the president who intends to enable his people to live in prosperity and peace.

The only question in the Palestinian leadership is who will continue the fight against Israel. It will also be interesting to see how the leadership change will take place.

  • Will there be elections within Fatah that are widely recognized?
  • Will Hamas possibly try to seize power in the so-called “West Bank” by force?
  • Will there be civil war among the Palestinians?
  • And how will Israel react in such a case?

Even if there is little hope of a Palestinian leadership that would like to live in peace with Israel, it is hoped that the transfer of power will at least be bloodless.


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