Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2009-11-18

A faltering peace progress

The US has voiced dismay at the approval of new settlement builds in annexed east Jerusalem, which once again stalls the fragile Mideast peace process. Tensions are already high ahead of upcoming presidential elections in the Palestinian territories.

Today's guests are Gershon Baskin, of the Israel/Palestine Centre for Research and Information, and Hind Khoury, general delegate for Palestine in France.


 

A tired but relieved Mahmoud Abbas has finally announced he had no desire to stand again in the next presidential elections.

Following the announcement, his Fatah party were quick to use last week's ceremony in Ramallah marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat as an opportunity to rally its supporters to swing behind his beleaguered successor.

Fatah officials fear a leadership vacuum if President Abbas was to step down - something its supporters are very aware of.

"It's dangerous situation because without him, everything collapses," a Fatah member told FRANCE 24 at the ceremony. "He's in control, more than anyone else."

Mahmoud Abbas was noticeably ambigious in his speech as to what his final plans resulting in much speculation about his future with party official now discussing a variety of scenarios.

"There are two things we can do; either to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and go back to square one or announce the creation of an independent Palestinian state and tell the world," senior Fatah official Ziad Abu Ein told FRANCE 24.

Ramallah is full of rumours that, with or without an election, the Palestinian leader is preparing to resign regardless.

Mahmoud Abbas, one of the architects of the Oslo accords, is now fed up with the peace process, or lack of. That is bad news for the Israelis, says Dr Yossi Beilin, one of their former negotiators who knows the president well.

"Mahmoud Abbas is very, very unique leader. He hates power. He's very sincere, he really believes in peace," Dr Beilin says.

"This is why I believe that it's a pity not to use this opportunity - not that there no other good people and we will be able to find a compromise but I would say that it is a very, very long bet and we cannot afford it."

But will his resignation result in disastrous consequences and also the end of Palestinian Authority? Palestinian analyst Dr  Mahdi Abdul Hadi is not so sure, and argues that, with or without Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian people will still manage.

"They [the Palestinian people] can be creative in maintaining their steadfastness with different regime and maintaining the Palestinian Authority and the PLO as their representative and functioning.. if not 100 percent normal then at least maintain the process until something different will take its place."

Still, many in the international community are deeply worried about what it will mean when Mahmoud Abbas does disappear from the Palestinian political scene.

 

 

 

By Marc de Chalvron and Annette Young

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-04-17 USA

The state of cannabis in Colorado

In the United States, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, but 24 states have a medical cannabis programme. Some have gone even further, such as Colorado, the first...

Read more

2015-04-16 Vietnam

Vietnam War victim brings Agent Orange makers to court

40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, a Franco-Vietnamese woman is taking some of America's most powerful chemicals companies to court in France. She accuses them of having...

Read more

2015-04-14 Burma

Video: The new face of Burma's opposition

Many observers fear that Burma's much-lauded "democratic transition" is stalling as the country staggers towards elections due in November. Pro-democracy groups are increasingly...

Read more

2015-04-15 Germany

Berlin tackles shortage of skilled labour

Germany has a shortage of skilled labour, a problem set to intensify. The population is ageing and the job market will have a dearth of almost 7 million people over the next 10...

Read more

2015-04-13 France

Is France's new surveillance bill a French Patriot Act?

French lawmakers are examining a new bill aimed at preventing further terror attacks like those that struck Paris in January. While supporters of the bill say it is a crucial...

Read more