Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not seek re-election in polls next year, reports suggest.When it comes to a lack of progress in making peace Abbas has no one to blame but himself. While the world saw him as a moderate he was just as much of at terror leader as his predecessor Yassir Arafat.
Officials from the Palestine Liberation Organisation told journalists in the West Bank that Mr Abbas "insists on not running" in the 24 January election.
A aide to Mr Abbas said earlier a lack of progress in peace talks with Israel and failure to achieve reconciliation with Hamas could prompt such a move.
But another aide said PLO officials were trying to change Mr Abbas' mind.
Mort Klein, head of the Zionist Organization of America, described Arafat this way:
"One of the extraordinary blind spots of contemporary Middle East history is the obsession of calling Mahmoud Abbas, whose nom de guerreor war name is Abu Mazen, a peace-loving moderate. ... Abbas was not only Yasser Arafat's deputy for 40 years, he also co-founded with him the terrorist group Fatah, masterminded the Munich massacre and wrote a PhD thesis and book denying the Holocaust."
- When he was running for election the "Moderate" Abbas denounced Israel as the "Zionist enemy," and offered a prayer to "the souls of the martyrs," a reference to seven Palestinian terrorists killed by the Israeli army earlier in the week.
- Immediately after Abbas was elected, he proclaimed that "the little jihad had ended, and the big jihad is now beginning." Abbas also took the opportunity to dedicate his victory to "brother shahid [martyr] Yasir Arafat," and paid tribute to all Palestinian "shahids and prisoners."
- The Weekly Standard reported that in December 2005, Abbas approved a law authorizing lump-sum payments of $2,200 to the surviving family members of "shahids" -- suicide bombers.
- In early 2007, Abbas called for killing Israelis "We [Palestinians] should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation." Around the same time period, he said, "We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the Intifada."
- In 2008 in Arabic, for Arab consumption Abbas said that he is against terrorist attacks only for tactical reasons 'at this time' and that 'in the future, things may change.' He boasted of his long involvement with PLO violence -- 'I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965' ..."
- On April 27, 2009, Abbas addressed the Palestinian Youth Parliament. He said: "The 'Jewish state.' What is a 'Jewish state?' We call it, the 'State of Israel'. You can call yourselves whatever you want. You can call yourselves whatever you want. But I will not accept it. And I say this on a live broadcast. It's not my job to define it, to provide a definition for the state and what it contains. You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic] call it whatever you like. I don't care."
Just words you say? Not Quite, as leader of the Fatah movement Abbas is also in charge of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. In June 2004 then Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei openly stated:
"We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah. We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group." In July he further declared "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, military wing of the Fatah movement will not be dissolved and Fatah will never relinquish its military wing."And the Martyrs' Brigade has been firmly under the control of Abbas:
Abu Ahmed, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader in the northern Gaza Strip, told WND his group, including the militants launching rockets, is loyal to Abbas and coordinates "resistance operations" with the Fatah party.During the tenure of Abbas this supposed moderate has ordered many deadly terrorist attacks via the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, including
"The Al Aqsa Brigades is the military wing of the Fatah and the President Abu Mazen (Abbas) is the chairman of the movement. We are committed to our leadership, to Abu Mazen. All our activity is in accordance with the political line of Fatah, which consists of fighting the occupation until the creation of a Palestinian state. The rocket shooting is part of this vision," Abu Ahmed said.
All rockets fired from Gaza have been launched from the northern part of the territory, which falls within Abu Ahmed's jurisdiction in the Brigades.
Asked why Abbas distances himself from Al Aqsa's rocket firing, Abu Ahmed told WND, "Listen, we are aware of our president's (Abbas') declarations but we are also aware of the international political system that brings the president to adopt this position."
- In January 2008 the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade joined with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to shoot rockets into Israel from Gaza. Israel retaliated by blockading the Gaza strip.
- A January 2007 suicide bombing in Eilat that killed three people. The attack was the first suicide bombing in Israel in nine months and both al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
- In June 2006 members of the brigade kidnapped an American college student after mistaking him for an Israeli. Initially they said he would be killed unless Israel released all of its Palestinian prisoners but released him the same day upon discovering his nationality.
- An October 2005 suicide attack at the Gush Etzion junction that killed three Israelis and wounded three others.