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An Unholy Alliance

Abbas' Rivals Unite Against Him

Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad attend a swearing-in ceremony for the emergency cabinet in Ramallah, June 2007. Oleg Popov / Reuters

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to name a successor, hold elections, or reform the PA’s corrupt institutions is pushing his rivals to unite against him. The staunchest of enemies—from members of Hamas to former members of the PA, including the Western-educated reformer Salam Fayyad and the exiled Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan—have found common ground in their quest to dethrone the aging Palestinian leader.

Abbas’ politics of exclusion has driven his rivals together. He has refused to name a deputy and continues to forestall any attempts at political reform in the West Bank. His Fatah party is meant to hold a conference once every five years to elect new leadership, yet it has been six years since the last conference, and Abbas continues to postpone the next one. Meanwhile, he persists in attacking dissidents in the West Bank, arresting journalists and citizens for critical articles and Facebook

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