Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

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

2014-10-01 Germany

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Our correspondents in Germany have been investigating a surge in ultra-conservative Islam, which ranges from so-called "sharia patrols" who pressure Muslim women to wear veils,...

Read more

2014-09-30 Iraq

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

It’s 1am in Baghdad, a city under curfew, and the streets of Karrada, a central district in the Iraqi capital, are swarming with nervous security personnel.

Read more

2014-09-29 Egypt

Egypt's push against atheism and 'non-believers'

In Egypt a growing number of young people are identifying as atheists. On paper, Egypt protects freedom of religious beliefs, but this does not extend to those who reject...

Read more

2014-09-26 France

Americans in Paris!

Last report in our series celebrating Paris's rich cultural diversity: natives of both the North and South of the American Continent now call Paris home. They've brought with...

Read more

2014-09-25 Arab world

The diversity of Arab cultures shines in Paris

France has a long history of ties to North Africa. That history has at times been painful and complex. But as you'll see in our report, it has also left a clear, positive...

Read more