February 8, 2024 | Flash Brief

Facing Low Poll Numbers, PA President Pushes for Palestinian Statehood

February 8, 2024 | Flash Brief

Facing Low Poll Numbers, PA President Pushes for Palestinian Statehood

Latest Developments

Facing mounting unpopularity in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas pushed for Palestinian statehood in a February 7 meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Asserting that a two-state solution is the only path to peace, Abbas urged the Biden administration to recognize a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In turn, Blinken reiterated Washington’s support for Palestinian statehood and “also discussed the benefits of revitalizing the Palestinian Authority,” according to a State Department readout.

Expert Analysis

“The Biden administration is pushing a solution disconnected from the situation on the ground. Ideally, a robust, pragmatic PA would take over Gaza in the wake of Hamas’s defeat. But that isn’t reality. Abbas and the PA are deeply unpopular, fossilized relics who, through corruption, nepotism, and oppression, have squandered their chance to create a Palestinian state. They can barely control Ramallah. How are they supposed to control Gaza?” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

“Israelis who saw their countrymen massacred in their homes and communities only four months ago are justified in their deep reservations about a Palestinian state on their border. Polling demonstrates again and again that Palestinians support terrorism and approve of Hamas’s brutal October 7 attack; if elections were held today, Hamas would sweep the West Bank. And yet Blinken is foisting the idea of a Palestinian state upon the people of Israel even as over 130 hostages remain held by Hamas in Gaza.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Palestinian Authority Losing Legitimacy with Palestinians

Despite being elected to a four-year presidential term in 2005, Abbas is now in his 20th year in office and refuses to hold elections. His administration maintains security cooperation with Israel while consistently blaming Israel for problems within the West Bank. Shortly after Abbas took office, the PA lost control of Gaza amid a civil war launched by Hamas. In the intervening years, the PA’s strength has waned. A poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Arab World for Research and Development in November 2023 found that 85 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank have a “somewhat negative” or “very negative” view of the PA. Seventy percent feel the same way about Abbas’s ruling Fatah party. Another poll published by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in December 2023 found that 92 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank want Abbas to resign.

Majority of Israelis Oppose Palestinian Statehood Due to Security Threats,” FDD Flash Brief

Blinken Ties Saudi-Israel Normalization to Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief

Support for Hamas Surges in the West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief


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