The bet on Mahmoud Abbas is a bet on a dead horse

Israel opposes the PA returning to control the Gaza Strip after the war and claims that it is corrupt, weak and encourages terrorism. The Biden administration's bet on the PA as a body that will manage the Gaza Strip is wrong, something that may lead to the re-strengthening of Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the future.

The IDF will eventually be forced to occupy the entire Gaza Strip in order to topple the Hamas rule and destroy its military infrastructure, according to senior military officials.

The war in the Gaza Strip continues in full force and so does the diplomatic battle behind the scenes over the question of who will rule the Gaza Strip at the end of the war.

The US has already informed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the most emphatic way that he will be the one who will be forced to control the Gaza Strip at the end of the war and rehabilitate it with the help of massive financial aid from the international community and the Gulf states.

Mahmoud Abbas is hesitant, but he will have no choice after claiming in 2007 that Hamas forcibly usurped control of the Gaza Strip from the PA through a violent military coup.

However, the PA chairman hastened to set a precondition for the US, he demands that it draw up a political outline that recognizes that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are one geographical unit with East Jerusalem as its capital and that the Palestinians have the right to establish an independent state, he also demands that Israel agree in advance to this outline.

. Palestinian resistance

The Palestinian street hates and despises PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the majority of the Palestinian public considers him a traitor and a mouthpiece for Israel and the US.

The main reason is the PA’s security cooperation with Israel to prevent terrorism. The Palestinian street claims that this is Mahmoud Abbas’s deal with Israel, he maintains its security and in return it allows him and his associates to lead a regime of corruption and embezzlement.

The status of Mahmoud Abbas on the Palestinian street has weakened greatly, his popularity has reached an unprecedented low, Palestinian public opinion polls by the Palestinian Policy Center, which operates from Ramallah, show that 80 percent of the Palestinian public demand Mahmoud Abbas’s immediate resignation from office.

The majority of the public wants Marwan Barghouti, a senior Fatah official who is serving a sentence of 5 life imprisonment in an Israeli prison, to be the successor to the post of chairman of the PA’.

The residents of the Gaza Strip have a long account with Mahmoud Abbas who abused them in recent years, he prevented thousands of PA officials in the Gaza Strip from receiving salaries for several months and then cut them, announced forced pensions for thousands of officials and prevented the issuance of permits to the residents of the Gaza Strip to enter Israel in order to receive urgent medical treatment.

The US wants him to stay and continue his rule in the Gaza Strip as well, it is still deluding itself that the two state solution option can be realized with his help.

The moderate Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf countries are also interested in Mahmoud Abbas remaining in power, they want to maintain the stability of their regimes, as far as all the regional factors are concerned, Mahmoud Abbas is the worst case scenario.

Israeli resistance

Israel opposes the PA being the one to rule the Gaza Strip after the war and the collapse of Hamas rule.

Since the terrible massacre that Hamas carried out on October 7 of Israelis in the settlements surrounding Gaza and until today, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to condemn it.

A senior political official says that “the Biden administration’s bet on Mahmoud Abbas is like a bet on a dead horse.”

The Israeli position is that the Gaza Strip should be governed by a Palestinian body that is not related to the Palestinian Authority and its corruption and that will be acceptable to the Gazan population.

Political officials in Jerusalem explain that the PA is very weak and cannot maintain security in the Gaza Strip, it has lost its security capabilities and lost Samaria to the control of terrorist groups of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

In addition to this, it pays monthly salaries to terrorists and its education system incites against Israel and the Jews.

In its current situation, how will it be able to control the Gaza Strip as well?

This is a very dangerous situation, in Israel they fear that if the PA returns to control the Gaza Strip it will allow the Hamas movement to reestablish itself under PA rule without renewing its military infrastructure, from here the distance is already short to the continuation of the spread of Hamas-ISIS ideas among the Palestinian public and the carrying out of terrorist attacks under the auspices of the PA.

Bringing international forces into the Gaza Strip to manage the Strip is also very dangerous.

The concept of international forces failed, see in South Lebanon how the UN force failed in its mission.

It failed to implement UN Resolution 1701, which prohibits Hezbollah from operating south of the Litani River.

In recent years, Radwan force operatives have set up dozens of observation posts on the border with Israel and are threatening to occupy parts of the Galilee.

Among various parties operating in the Middle East, various names are emerging for the management of the Gaza Strip after the war, such as former Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan, former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad or Fatah official Nasser Al-Kidwa, the nephew of Yasser Arafat and the former Palestinian Foreign Minister.

Political officials in Jerusalem say that the 88-year-old Mahmoud Abbas must step down from his position along with the gang surrounding him and that a new leadership must come in their place that will have to prove its will and abilities to effectively fight terrorism, only then can we talk about its role in the management of the Gaza Strip.

It seems that the Biden administration is wrong in its assessment of the situation, the PA needs comprehensive reforms to come to its senses, Mahmoud Abbas can retire and accept an honorary position such as the president of the PLO, he must leave Ramallah and join his sons and grandchildren who live in Qatar.

No one will miss him.

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”. 

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