TITLE

Mahmoud Abbas (aka: Abu Mazen), President, Palestinian Authority

PUB. DATE
October 2019
SOURCE
Biographies for International Security;10/9/2019, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Encyclopedia
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Throughout his career, Mahmoud Abbas has worked toward the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. As president of the Palestinian Authority, his effectiveness was undermined by the militancy of Hamas on one side and expansion of Israeli settlements on the other. After 2011, Abbas turned to a new strategy: gaining recognition of Palestine from the international community rather than from Israel. As a co-founder of Fatah and longtime advocate of a negotiated peace with Israel, Abbas took a lead role in the Oslo Accord and plans for a two-state solution. After the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, he became the Palestinian leader but soon lost half his constituency as Hamas seized control of Gaza. Faced with hard-line negotiating by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abbas adopted a new strategy for Palestinian statehood. He applied to the United Nations to upgrade the Palestinian Authority (PA) from an "observer entity" to "observer state." The application was accepted, and in January 2013 Abbas officially changed the name of the PA to the State of Palestine -- which now appears on Palestinian passports and other documents in international use. Abbas negotiated reconciliation with Hamas, which agreed to support a unity government until new presidential and parliamentary elections could be held. Abbas was 79 as the unity government took office in June 2014. Mahmoud Abbas is also known by the Arabic honorific Abu Mazen, meaning "father of Mazen." Abbas's eldest son, named Mazen, died from natural causes in 2002.
ACCESSION #
116975637

 

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