Palestinian academics, activists, and political factions have called for the removal from office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, citing his canceling of the Palestinian elections and a perceived failure to support the people of Gaza during the recent Israeli attacks, The New Arab reported.
“The recent intifada of Jerusalem has revealed the resounding incompetence of the president, his policies and his authority, and the Palestinian people have had enough,” a group of academics and activists said in a statement over the weekend.
Parliamentary and presidential elections were due to take place on May 22 and July 31 respectively, but Abbas canceled them, saying that they could not be held unless voting in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem was guaranteed.
The Palestinian Authority & Israeli forces have started arresting activists who mobilised on the streets in the last few weeks in an attempt to crush the uprising. We have to get back out on the streets, tweeting & posting on social media cannot replace real work on the ground.
— Dr. Yara Hawari د. يارا هواري (@yarahawari) May 24, 2021
The cancellation angered many Palestinians, who held protests demanding that the vote go ahead. No Palestinian elections have been held since 2006.
Abbas faced further criticism following Israel’s recent 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which killed over 250 Palestinians including 67 children. The 85-year-old president’s opponents have accused him of failing to show “moral solidarity with the suffering of the Palestinian people” during the Israeli attacks.
They were also angered by recent meetings between Abbas and American officials, which they viewed as a US attempt to “restore Abbas’s legitimacy”. In their statement, the group of academics and activists accused the Palestinian president of transforming the Palestinian Authority into a “dictatorial institution ruled by one individual”.
In violation of the law, the detainees are transferred from their home cities or towns to the security complex in Jericho – referred to colloquially by activists as “Jericho’s slaughterhouse”.
— Al-Shabaka الشبكة (@AlShabaka) May 31, 2021
“We declare that this president no longer has any political or national legitimacy; he must resign immediately, or be removed from the three leadership positions he controls,” they said.
“We call on our Palestinian people to join this call, and to start a new page based on the unity of the struggle, the unity of the people, and the unity of the land,” the group added.
Mahmoud Abbas was elected President of the Palestinian Authority in 2005. His term ended in 2009, but he used a conflict with Hamas, which took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, as a pretext to defer holding parliamentary and presidential elections.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)