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Mahmoud Abbas Photo: AFP
Mahmoud Abbas Photo: AFP
 
FM Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
FM Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
 
 

PA bid: Israel threatens to topple Abbas

Foreign Ministry draft position paper says only viable option in case Palestinian Authority receives non-member state status at UN would be 'to overthrow Abbas'

Itamar Eichner
Published: 11.14.12, 10:16 / Israel News

A Foreign Ministry draft position paper states that should the Palestinian Authority receive the status of a non-member state at the United Nations, the only viable option would be "to overthrow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."

 

The paper, drafted ahead of the Palestinians' November 29 UN bid, said that "a soft response would be tantamount to an Israeli admission that it cannot handle the challenge."

 

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The draft paper, which has been adopted by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, stated that the "reality of a UN-recognized Palestinian state would crush Israel deterrence and completely undermine its credibility which would render any future settlement impossible."

 

The document further reveals that Abbas has serious concerns that he will meet the same fate as Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and ousted Tunisian leader Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali.

 

"In addition, the Saudis are accusing him of lack of efficiency and corruption," the paper said.

 

"Several Gulf states are also angry with Abbas for his removal of Mohammed Dahlan who is trying to convince Arab leaders that Abu Mazen is no longer relevant. As a result he has lost the support of important patrons in the Arab world."

 

However, the Foreign Ministry also recommended offering the PA some rewards.

 

According to the paper, if the Palestinians refrain from approaching the UN, Israel should negotiate a Palestinian state on provisional borders with the PA until the Arab world stabilizes and Palestinian elections are held.


אבו-מאזן בעצרת האו"ם, לפני כחודשיים (צילום: AFP)

Abbas at UN General Assembly (Photo: AFP)

 

However, if the Palestinians decide to go ahead with their plan and receive upgraded status, Israel would consider it as the crossing of a red line which merits a tough response.

 

The Foreign Ministry claimed that Abbas chose to take his bid to the UN now realizing he needs to improve his popularity among Palestinians in light of his perceived inability to handle domestic challenges, particularly the economic challenge.

 

The Palestinian president is also worried about the exposure of more corruption allegations against him. Since he became PA chairman, details about Abbas' income and assets have been disclosed by opposition elements within Fatah.

 

According to the paper, Abbas earns $1 million a month. US President Barack Obama's annual salary, in comparison, stands at $400,000. The paper also quoted data published by the Inlight Press website according to which Abbas holds several Jordanian accounts of more than $500 million, mostly Palestinian tax payer money.

 

"The accounts are not under any national or international scrutiny," the paper said. "Recently, Abbas urged Moscow to supply him with a new advanced presidential jet worth $55 million despite the fact that he has a new Global Express speed jet bought for $53 million at his disposal. In addition he also uses a 504 Challenger jet."

 

The paper further noted that the Foreign Ministry is slated to release a report for donor states which shows that Abbas' personal expenses in the past eight years have exceeded $1 billion. It was also claimed that PA sources said that the president owns many lands.  

 

The paper claims that Abbas' sons are given a share of all Palestinian Authorities projects, based on information from the Inlight Press website.

 

"This explains why Abu Mazen tried to promote a Dead Sea tourism project funded by Gulf states. It is claimed that his sons won contracts for more than $250 million."

 

'Abbas planned to flee to Jordan'

The website had apparently revealed that Abbas had prepared a plan to flee the Palestinian Authority toJordan more than a year ago. He is said to have properties in the country where antiques worth more than $400,000 euros and paid for by "The Palestinian people's Fund" are kept.

 

Palestinian Ambassador to Belgrade Mohammed Nabhan claimed that they were purchased on the black market.

 

The Foreign Ministry believes these reports are credible and had relayed the information to the US State Department.

 

Israeli sources claimed that the CIA is now reviewing the data. "As far as the donor states are concerned the most serious issue is that large sums of money meant to aid needy Palestinians were stolen and transferred to an investment fund run by Abu Mazen's associate Mohammed Mustafa," the paper said.

 

The document further suggested that Abbas and his staff are worried that the Palestinian issue is no longer part of the Israeli discourse.

 

"They are aware that the lack of interest is derived from the deep mistrust towards Abu Mazen."

 

The Foreign Ministry claimed that the fact that Abbas continues to postpone the presidential and parliamentary elections which were meant to take place in 2010 "indicates that there is no assurance that any Palestinian administration will see itself bound to the agreements with Israel."

 

 

 

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