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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Abbas says he'll reveal something "important and dangerous" soon

Palestinian Arab media are buzzing about a dark hint that Mahmoud Abbas gave in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper that he will reveal something "important and dangerous" that is happening soon.

There is some speculation that when the UN Security Council bid for statehood is defeated, and because of the inability of Fatah to successfully negotiate any elections with Hamas, together with Abbas' repeated promises not to run in any new elections for president of the PA, that Abbas may dissolve the PA altogether.

In fact, Saeb Erekat hinted at this yesterday, telling Palestine Radio "Either there is power to the movement of Palestinians from occupation to independence, or Netanyahu has to assume [Israel's] responsibilities seriously from the river to the sea."

Isn't that how people who crave independence act - by dissolving all the existing autonomy they have?

A move like this would have a number of benefits for Abbas. He would remain the leader of the PLO, which would remain the only recognized representative of Palestinian Arabs. Also, he wouldn't have to worry about a Hamas takeover in any election, something he is clearly worried about since he is avoiding the elections that he promised for "after September."

But the downside is pretty bad for Abbas as well. It is hard to imagine the world pressuring Israel to fully take over Areas A and B, let alone Gaza. There could be a serious backlash against the entire Palestinian Arab cause if they are so willing to throw away their gains that the West supported and pushed for in the past twenty years.

Abbas has made promises of major announcements before that didn't pan out, but this is something to keep an eye on.