maandag 1 september 2008

Abbas' termijn als PA president zit er bijna op

Niet alleen Olmert zal binnenkort vertrekken, ook Abbas' termijn zit er bijna op. Wat er dan zal gebeuren is zeer onzeker.
Volgens een recente poll van het Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) is Abbas een stuk populairder dan Haniyeh, en zou hij presidentsverkiezingen makkelijk winnen als Haniyeh de enige tegenkandidaat is.

Last update - 21:22 31/08/2008
Shin Bet chief: Abbas' time as PA President is running out
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Sunday told the cabinet that Mahmoud Abbas' time as Palestinian President was nearing its end as elections in the Palestinian Authority approach.
Diskin added that, "Hamas knows that Abu Mazen's time is running out,", referring to Abbas by his nom de guerre. He told the ministers that Israel has to monitor closely developments in the PA that are likely to turn into a political crisis.
"Given the fractious state of the Palestinian Authority, presidential elections are impossible [to hold]," Diskin said.
The Shin Bet chief said PA officials are mulling a number of alternatives. One option is for Abbas to retire from politics. Another is for the PA to adopt a constitutional amendment which would permit Abbas to continue his term beyond the allotted period.
Diskin said Abbas could also opt to come to an agreement with Hamas on an agreed upon date to hold elections. The Palestinian president could also declare the Gaza Strip as rebel-held territory, dissolve the Palestinian legislative council, and impose a state of emergency.
In the event Abbas resigns, the Palestinian constitution mandates that he be replaced by the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Aziz Duek, a Hamas figure currently jailed in Israel, the Shin Bet chief said.
Diskin told the government ministers that the situation on the ground is complex. "I am putting this before you due to the importance of the matter because this will impact our policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians," the Shin Bet chief said.
Diskin also noted that the Palestinian security services have improved since July due to Israeli and American pressure. The Shin Bet chief said the PA has arrested 200 Hamas operatives in Hebron in the last month and has shut down 45 charities affiliated with the Islamist group.
The Shin Bet chief praised Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, crediting him with working intensely throughout the West Bank to impose law and order. Fayyad's efforts have yielded tangible results, Diskin said, though he did caution that there remain 20 warnings of possible terrorist attacks in the Gaza Strip. He added that Hamas is taking advantage of the opening of the Rafah border crossing to dispatch terrorists to the Sinai Peninsula, from which they can gain entry into Israel.
Diskin added that there is a growing danger that terrorists could either attack or kidnap Israeli tourists vacationing in Sinai.

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