When Gazans declare: 'We Want To Live,’ Hamas smears them as traitors, junkies and fools – then beats them up. No wonder Gazans find it hard to distinguish between the repression of Hamas, Abbas and Israel
Mahmoud Abbas, popularly known as Abu Mazen, is the current President of the Palestinian Authority, succeeding Yasser Arafat after his death in 2004.
Abbas was born in 1935 in the town of Safed in what was then northern Palestine and today Israel. During the War of Independence of 1948, Abbas fled with his family to Syria, where he received a law degree from Damascus University. He later obtained a Ph.D. in history in Moscow. The topic of his dissertation – the relations between the Nazis and Zionist leaders during the Holocaust – has led to accusations that he is a Holocaust denier, which he rejects. From Russia, Abbas moved to Qatar, where he began to work with Palestinian groups.
During this time Abbas joined with Yasser Arafat to form the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which was to become the internationally recognized umbrella organization of all Palestinian groups.
In 1968, Abbas became a member of the Palestinian National Council. He was elected as the Council's secretary general in 1996, informally confirming his position as Arafat's deputy. In January 1993, Abbas became the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War, where he reportedly apologized to the Gulf States for the PLO's pro-Iraq position during the war.
Abbas' contacts with Israeli leftists throughout the years gave him a reputation as a PLO dove, and he was chosen to head the Palestinian negotiating team dispatched by Arafat to the secret peace talks with Israel in Oslo, Norway. It was Abbas who signed the Oslo Accords with Israel in September 1993, on behalf of the PLO.
In 1995, Abbas returned to the Palestinian territories for the first time in 47 years, taking up residence in Gaza, and Ramallah in the West Bank. In March 2003, he was named the first Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, but was never granted full powers as Arafat insisted on final veto of all decisions. Arafat also maintained control over several Palestinian security services. He resigned as prime minister in September 2003, after just four months in office, and was replaced by Ahmed Qurei.
In the aftermath of Arafat’s death, Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority on January 9, 2005, winning 62 percent of the vote, and sworn in six days later. In his inauguration speech Abbas called for the armed Palestinian groups to lay down their weapons, arguing that the armed conflict had yielded few results. His calls, while welcomed in the international community, were not greeted with broad acceptance in the territories.
Abbas' time in office has been marred by Palestinian infighting, mainly between his own Fatah movement and the militant Hamas over policies toward Israel and control over the various internal security apparatuses, as well as clashing with Israel over continued Palestinian violence and the stagnant peace process.
In June 2007, Abbas dissolved a Hamas-led unity government, declared a state of emergency, and appointed Salam Fayyad as prime minister. As a result, Hamas men stormed Fatah-controlled installations inside the Gaza Strip, instigating a round of bloody infighting that effectively ended Fatah’s influence in the Gaza Strip. Subsequent Arab-mediated efforts at reconciliation between the two factions have been largely unsuccessful.
In January 2009, Abbas’s term as president came to an end. He extended his term for another year, a move that was again opposed by Hamas as illegal.
Videos circulating on social media showed Hamas police officers shooting, beating and arresting protesters, as well as detaining journalists and human rights activists
PA finance minister Shukri Bishara said that most of the salary cuts will come from high-salary officials, and in all cases no official will receive a salary below $550
Efforts to form a new government were triggered after the last prime minister, Rami Al-Hamdallah, tendered his resignation and that of his unity government in January
Beneficiaries will be required to work for short time before receiving funds ■ Defense officials concerned about possible violent escalation in Gaza and West Bank surrounding anniversary of weekly protests
In a festive meeting, Khalida Jarrar gave well-wishers a chance to celebrate her release from a small prison and temporarily shelve fears about an escalation of Israeli violence
According to Russian foreign minister, the president told Israeli leader he has 'interest in overcoming deadlock' on Middle East peace 'as soon as possible'
During a visit to Baghdad, Mahmoud Abbas met with Iraqi leaders and repeated he does not see the current U.S. administration as a suitable sponsor of peace talks
Offsetting the money that Israel transfers to the Palestinians, the leadership crisis in the Palestinian Authority or a violent incident on the Temple Mount could all ignite violence
Israeli media is a vital partner in the crimes of the occupation, encouraging Israelis' ignorance. Recent 'activity' to arrest former militant in the heart of Ramallah, right next to a school and a kindergarten, proves just that
Among those affected are about 780 former prisoners and 133 current prisoners in Israel who are affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad
There were strikes and protests this month in Ramallah – and they weren't against the occupation. Palestinian workers demanded Israel keep their hard-earned social security payments rather than entrust them to the 'safekeeping' of its nepotistic proxy – the Palestinian Authority
Intel report says Palestinian group may risk all-out confrontation to obtain international involvement in Gaza's humanitarian crisis
Palestinian president lands in Saudi Arabia with closest advisers for meetings with King Salman, Prince Mohammed ■ Trip comes after top negotiator Erekat visited Egypt
In 11th-hour move Palestinian leader averts general strike in the West Bank, partly because any future Fatah-based government will need to preserve its popular appeal
The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new one is formed, it said in a statement Tuesday issued after a weekly cabinet meeting
Analysis Hamas Could Cause an Escalation on the Israeli Border. Abbas Could Start a Greater Conflict
The Friday protests at the Gaza fence are the first test for the new Israeli army chief ■ Does the IDF shrug off criticism, even if it’s true?
The general strike over social security law adds to ongoing rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, increased IDF activity in Ramallah and the Palestinian president's seeming indifference to it all
The law looks to guarantee old-age allowances, workers’ compensation and paid maternity leave to private-sector employees ■ Private sector workers say employee withholding is too high, while supporters blame a disinformation campaign
Palestinian Authority threatens to further reduce its aid to the Strip, as Israel blocks funds from Qatar following rocket fire
On Friday, assailants destroyed cameras, editing and broadcasting equipment in the Gaza office of the station
The Palestinian president is in Cairo to meet his Egyptian counterparts, says Trump's 'deal of the century' is finished and Palestinian issue is in grave crisis
Abbas Accuses Israel of Funding Hamas in Gaza: 'Netanyahu Personally Transfers Money, West Bank Pays the Price'
Palestinian president says funds result in terror attacks in West Bank ■ Palestinians headed for elections within six months as constitutional court dissolves parliament
Russia's deputy foreign minister says Hamas leader will likely visit Moscow at start of 2019
Hamas' patriotic image is only strengthened by last week's events, while the Palestinian Authority is perceived as the Israeli occupation's subcontractor
Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of creating a climate conducive to violence through its frequent military operations in Palestinian cities
Vatican says Palestinian president and Pope Francis discussed Jerusalem's 'universal value' for Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Developments such as Netanyahu's visit to Oman, a visit by Chad's president in Israel and reports on Israeli attempts to tighten relations with Sudan and Bahrain in the future are 'worrisome', says Abbas adviser Nabil Sha'ath
It was after his appointment that Avigdor Lieberman began to grasp the strategic reality. Still, signs of relief were apparent when he announced his resignation
As long as Hamas controls Gaza, it can perpetuate the Strip’s separation from the PA, thwarting efforts to establish a unified Palestinian representative that could negotiate with Jerusalem and Washington.