1) The INSS provides a memorandum outlining potential scenarios “The Day after Abbas”.
“The question of who will replace or succeed Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is one of the most urgent and important issues in the Palestinian arena. It intensifies the rivalry between the main elements of power, namely, Fatah and Hamas, and undermines the PA’s control. Once Abbas has left the stage, there will be political turmoil and perhaps even a crisis in the Palestinian camp.
Abbas currently fills three main public positions: President of the PA (he was elected in 2005); Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); and Chairman of Fatah. However, he is perceived as a dictatorial ruler since has never stood for reelection or been challenged in an electoral process. How long the 87-year-old Abbas will remain in power is uncertain, although it is known that he is not in the best of health. While in office, he has made sure that no popular political figure who could eclipse him would emerge in the PA, and he has not publicly prepared the way for a successor.”
2) The ITIC reports on a Palestinian public opinion poll showing increased support for armed terrorist attacks against Israel.
“On December 13, 2022, Dr. Khalil Shqaqi’s Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR)1 issued its public opinion-poll report for the last quarter of the year. According to the results, the Palestinian public’s support for an “armed struggle” against Israel, a return an armed intifada, “armed attacks” inside against Israeli civilians inside Israel and support for “armed groups” in the Palestinian Authority (PA), increased in comparison to the third quarter, especially in Judea and Samaria. There was also overwhelming support (72%) for “armed groups” [such as the Lion’s Den terrorist network], but more than half said they were concerned that it would lead to clashes between the groups and the PA’s security services. There was a particularly significant increase in support for terrorist attacks inside Israel, and the findings apparently indicate a trend within the Palestinian public towards extremism, especially in Judea and Samaria.”
3) The FDD’s Clifford D May discusses reactions to the visit to Temple Mount by an Israeli minister.
“Imagine if Israelis said: “Only Jews are permitted on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount! No Muslims and no Christians!” The “international community” would be outraged. But Israelis would never say that. Christians and Muslims are welcome on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site, the place where two great Jewish temples were built and then destroyed by foreign empires.
Imagine if Palestinians, Jordanians, and others said: “Only Muslims are permitted on Haram al-Sharif, from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven and the third holiest site for Muslims!” In fact, that is what many Palestinians, Jordanians, and others are saying, and the “international community” is outraged – but at Israelis for not accepting rules intended only for Jews.”
4) At WINEP Anna Borshchevskaya and Andrew J. Tabler explain why ‘Russia’s Yes Vote on Syria Aid Will Come With a Price’.
“On January 9, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 2672 extending the provision of cross-border humanitarian aid into northwest Syria for another six months. In the immediate term, the vote is good news for Syrian civilians suffering through one of their worst energy crises since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. But the main problem persists—absent an alternative mechanism outside the Security Council, cross-border aid will remain bound to Russia’s increasing political and security demands in Syria, which are ultimately tied to the situation in Ukraine as well.”