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The end of Abbas, the end of moderation

Israeli politicians have labeled Mahmoud Abbas a "non-partner," but they will be hard pressed to find anyone as moderate among the future Palestinian leadership.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015.     REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTS2GK8
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We are probably nearing the end of the Mahmoud Abbas era, which also marks the end of the leadership era of the Tunis-based Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) guided by the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and his disciples. Its conclusion will be followed by uncertainty and chaos before a new regime and a new reality take shape.

It is still uncertain when (and whether) Abbas will resign. Before Abbas' Sept. 30 UN General Assembly speech, a close confidant of his, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al-Monitor that Abbas despairs of the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state by peaceful means. He stated, “Abbas objects to violence and is a true believer in Palestinian diplomacy. He has completely given up on Israeli willingness to end the occupation and on [President Barack] Obama's readiness to intervene with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. He believes Israel never intended to implement the Oslo Accord. He spoke to us of his wish to resign before the next elections, which he would like to be held in the near future, and possibly to declare the entire West Bank and East Jerusalem a state under occupation. In any case, security cooperation with Israel will depend on full compliance by Israel with the Oslo Accord, including a timeline for statehood.”

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