Abu Mazen opposes an armed intifada against Israel in the West Bank

PA chairman Abu Mazen opposes a new armed intifada against Israel and believes that it will bring a great disaster to the Palestinians in the West Bank. Abu Mazen fears a civil war and that the new terrorist groups that have arisen in the West Bank will disrupt the process of transferring power in the PA in preparation for his retirement.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen began last night a series of diplomatic contacts to bring about an end to IDF activities in the city of Nablus, which has been under siege by the IDF for more than two weeks, in order to prevent terrorists who are trying to carry out shooting attacks on the main roads.

The IDF raided last night a hidden apartment in the old city of Nablus and blew up a laboratory that produced explosive charges for the “Lions’ Den” group.
In the exchange of fire between the IDF and the terrorists, 4 of them were killed, another 22 were injured, 5 of them seriously.

Abu Mazen’s issued a statement saying that this is was a “war crime” and PA officials say that Israel’s

actions weaken the PA in the eyes of the Palestinian street.

Last week, PA Chairman Abu Mazen repeated his opposition to an armed intifada against Israel in the West Bank and expressed support for “peaceful popular resistance”.

This is the idea that Abu Mazen has been leading since he came to power in 2005 and means resistance to the Israeli occupation through demonstrations, blocking roads, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails but under no circumstances the use of firearms.

This is a permanent position of Abu Mazen which he voiced already in the second intifada in 2000, in contrast to the position of Yasser Arafat who led the armed intifada .

Abu Mazen believes that a new armed intifada will seriously harm the Palestinians in the West Bank, most of whom do not want it, in his opinion, Israel is much stronger militarily than the Palestinians and the IDF will eliminate all armed groups in the West Bank and such an intifada will only delay political
solution for many years and leave the Palestinians under complete control of Israel.

According to senior PA sources, Abu Mazen fears that the intifada will strengthen the position of the new young generation in the West Bank who will demand a share of the power pie and will disrupt the process of transferring power in an orderly manner to his close associate Hussein al-Sheikh that began a few months ago.

Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO’s executive committee, already visited Washington three weeks ago and received the green light from the Biden administration after he had already received the consent of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

The appointment of Hussein al-Sheikh as Abu Mazen’s successor requires a process of presidential elections in the West Bank and Gaza strip, this is the only way he can gain popular legitimacy, in the meantime Abu Mazen is working to strengthen him in the Fatah movement which is the ruling party, he is gradually giving him powers and helping him to eliminate politically his rivals at the top of the movement.

Senior officials in Fatah say that between Abu Mazen and Hussein al-Sheikh there is an alliance according to which al-Sheikh undertook, in exchange for his political advancement, to take care of Abu Mazen and his family members after he steps down from the political stage and not to harm the enormous economic empire of his two sons.

The 87-year-old Abu Mazen is convinced that he will live for a long time and he tells his close associates that based on the genes in his family, he will reach the age of one hundred.

Terrorism is a danger to Abu Mazen’s rule

Despite his words, PA Chairman Abu Mazen is a sick man who is under close medical supervision, this is the reason why he himself began the process of training his successor and the gradual transfer of power, he is the last of the generation of founders of the Fatah movement, for 16 years they have not existed elections in the West bank and Gaza Strip.

They were supposed to take place last year, but Abu Mazen canceled them and accused Israel of failing them, the truth is that he feared a disgraceful defeat for himself and the Fatah movement in the elections, as happened in the parliamentary elections in 2006.

On the Palestinian street, there is strong opposition to the designated successor Hussein A-Sheikh, he is considered a corrupt person who committed many sexual harassments.

The young Palestinian generation opposes him and supports Marwan Barghouti, the architect of the terror of the second intifada and who founded the” Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades” group.

Barghouti is in Israeli prison and is serving a sentence of 5 life sentences for murdering Israelis.

As soon as Abu Mazen dies or enters a state of medical paralysis, the succession battle at the top of Fatah will enter the highest gear, it is currently being conducted behind the scenes, but it is expected to break out in the form of violent struggles in the field between the armed militias of senior Fatah officials, which could lead to a civil war.

Therefore, it is estimated that Abu Mazen and his close associate Hussein al-Sheikh want to avoid this scenario and they will do everything to calm the area and help Israel, without leaving fingerprints, to eliminate the armed groups that might join the Hamas movement and destabilize Abu Mazen’s rule.

The IDF is preparing for several scenarios for the day after Abu Mazen rule and it is supposed to deploy large forces in the area to protect the half million Israeli citizens who live beyond the Green Line and also to prevent armed clashes between the various militias that could endanger Israel.

The task will be to enable elections in the West Bank so that a successor to Abu Mazen is chosen.
The immediate goal of Israel and the PA is to stabilize the security situation in the West Bank, Abu Mazen fears an armed intifada, this is the common interest of Israel and the PA and without security stability it is impossible to talk about the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the PA.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

Recent Posts

My Twitter