The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has backed off from a meeting with Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Kadima Party, scheduled to be held in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. His decision was announced after huge pressure from Fatah and other factions who hold Mofaz responsible for the killings of many Palestinians.
The Israeli politician was the army chief of staff during the so-called Defensive Shield campaign and the massacre of Jenin in 2002, when the army reoccupied Palestinian Authority areas; he was also directly responsible for the Israeli army response to the First and Second (Al-Aqsa) Palestinian Uprisings in which many men, women and children were killed.
The President’s response to such pressures is unique, being part of the old school which doesn’t really care about the general popular mood. The man has been criticised widely and repeatedly in the past for appearing to swim against the tide of popular opinion.
According to Azzam Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, the meeting was cancelled “because it was not important”. He told Asharq Alawsat newspaper, “Mofaz does not carry anything and nothing is expected from him.”