Israeli minister: The Palestinian Authority could collapse at any moment; violence will follow

Published March 1st, 2016 - 12:34 GMT
Mahmoud Abbas, 80, has said he wants to resign from political life. (AFP/ Abbas Momani)
Mahmoud Abbas, 80, has said he wants to resign from political life. (AFP/ Abbas Momani)

An Israeli minister predicted in a recent speech that the Palestinian Authority will collapse sometime in the next two years.

Israeli Minister of Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin said the Palestinian Authority could fall apart as soon as one month from now, according to Haaretz and the Times Of Israel. Speaking at Bar Ilan University in Israel on Monday, Elkin said the Palestinian Authority will not hold a democratic election to replace its 80-year-old leader, Mahmoud Abbas. “The most probable scenario is a violent succession struggle,” he said.

Elkin, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said that both Israel and the international community are woefully unprepared to handle the resulting situation from such a collapse. 

Some reacted to the news with humor: 

 

It’s widely accepted that Abbas has lost most of his influence in the West Bank: polls have shown his popularity at low levels for years. He’s struggled to control the current wave of violence consuming Israel and the West Bank, and has repeatedly reached out to international partners for help. The Palestinian leader has even said that he wishes to retire from political life and that he intends to announce his resignation soon. Yet who will succeed him is far from clear. The most likely candidate, Marwan Barghouti, is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison after having been convicted of murder in 2004.

The Israelis aren’t the only ones worried about what will happen to the West Bank after Abbas. US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in December that “the black flag of ISIS” could soon be flying over the region if Abbas fails to maintain order there. 

 


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