Sunday, September 03, 2023

The Media Line reports:

After PA President Mahmoud Abbas fired 12 provincial governors and 35 foreign envoys, analysts say it is Jordan that has pushed him for changes out of concern for the stability of the entity on its border. Further overhauls may lie ahead.

Rumors of imminent changes within the Palestinian Authority government continue to swirl, despite official denials from Ramallah.

Earlier this month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas fired 12 provincial governors in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in what many say is part of an “overhaul” in personnel in the political and security structure. The shakeup continued some days later with the announcement of the retirement of 35 of his foreign envoys, all of them over the age of 65.

Experts believe the dismissals are an attempt to promote newer leadership and quell increasing domestic, regional, and international criticism of the PA.

Ramallah-based political analyst Esmat Mansour told The Media Line that Abbas’s visit to Jordan contributed to the speed with which he carried out the firings.

“It is not possible for the president to ignore Arab advice, as well as international demands, out of fear for the future and fate of the PA,” Mansour said.

Analysts say the Palestinian leadership is scrambling to appease regional players while satisfying the disgruntled Palestinian street, which sees the PA as ineffective, incompetent, and a tool in the hands of Israel.

“Abbas is trying through these decisions to give the impression that he is still influential and in control of things, and that change comes by his own will and is not imposed on him by anyone,” Mansour said.

As part of the shakeup, Abbas is planning a limited cabinet shuffle in the next few weeks, according to Palestinian media outlets. This may affect the current prime minister.

The only part that makes sense is that Abbas wanted to project the idea that he is still in charge. But firing governors and envoys does not change the main challenges he faces - the loss of control by the PA security forces and the lack of elections.

Ironically, Abbas fired a lot of the older people working for him in favor of youth, but he himself remains the 87-year old dictator above all. 

It is true the PA has been trying a little harder to assert security control over areas that had been effectively ceded to terror groups. I can certainly see Jordan pushing for that, since security chaos would affect Jordan as well. 

Abbas met with the heads of his security services last week to emphasize the importance of the "rule of law.".

But these changes are really just re-arranging the deck chairs of the Titanic.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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