57 Facts About Mahmoud Abbas


Mahmoud Abbas, known by the kunya Abu Mazen, is the president of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority.


Mahmoud Abbas has been the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 11 November 2004, PNA president since 15 January 2005, and State of Palestine president since 8 May 2005.


Mahmoud Abbas was elected on 9 January 2005 to serve as President of the Palestinian National Authority until 15 January 2009, but extended his term until the next election in 2010, citing the PLO constitution, and on 16 December 2009 was voted into office indefinitely by the PLO Central Council.


Nonetheless, Mahmoud Abbas is internationally recognized in his position and Hamas and Fatah conducted numerous negotiations in the following years, leading to an agreement in April 2014 for a Unity Government and to the recognition of his office by Hamas.


Mahmoud Abbas was chosen as the president of the State of Palestine by the PLO Central Council on 23 November 2008, a position he had held unofficially since 8 May 2005.


Mahmoud Abbas served as the first prime minister of the Palestinian Authority from March to September 2003.


Mahmoud Abbas was born on 15 November 1935 in Safed, in the Galilee region of Mandatory Palestine.


Mahmoud Abbas's family fled to Syria during the 1948 Palestine war.


Mahmoud Abbas later entered graduate studies at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where he earned a Candidate of Sciences degree.


Mahmoud Abbas is married to Amina Abbas and they had three sons.


The eldest, Mazen Mahmoud Abbas, ran a building company in Doha and died in Qatar of a heart attack in 2002 at the age of 42.


Mahmoud Abbas has eight grandchildren, six of whom are part of the Seeds of Peace initiative bringing them in touch with young Israelis.


Mahmoud Abbas was among the first members of Fatah to call for talks with moderate Israelis, doing so in 1977.


Mahmoud Abbas has performed diplomatic duties, presenting a moderating contrast to the PLO's "revolutionary" policies.


Mahmoud Abbas was the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in January 1993 to mend fences with the Gulf countries after the PLO's support of Iraq during the Persian Gulf War strained relations.


Mahmoud Abbas published a memoir, Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo.


Palestinian officials replied that at the time in question, the PLO collaborated with Moscow, and that Mahmoud Abbas was their liaison man in the Palestinian-Soviet friendship foundation.


Mahmoud Abbas hinted he would resign if not given more control over the administration.


Mahmoud Abbas came into conflict with Palestinian militant groups, notably the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement and Hamas because his pragmatic policies were opposed to their hard-line approach.


Mahmoud Abbas resigned as prime minister in September 2003, citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government.


On 25 November 2004, Mahmoud Abbas was endorsed by Fatah's Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the presidential election, scheduled for 9 January 2005.


Mahmoud Abbas called for Palestinian groups to end the use of arms against Israelis.


On 8 February 2005, Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit to end the Second Intifada, and they both reaffirmed their commitment to the Roadmap for peace process.


On 9 August 2005, Mahmoud Abbas announced that legislative elections, scheduled for 17 July 2005, would take place in January 2006.


On 15 January 2006, Mahmoud Abbas declared that, despite unrest in Gaza, he would not change the election date, unless Israel were to prevent Palestinians in East Jerusalem from voting.


On 16 January 2006, in the context of Fatah's election loss and Hamas' presumed future one party government, Mahmoud Abbas said that he would not run for office again at the end of his term.


However, following international sanctions against a Hamas one party government, political and military conflicts between Hamas and Fatah, and the division of the country, which made new elections impossible, Mahmoud Abbas stayed president after the expiration of his four-year term on 15 January 2009.


Mahmoud Abbas extended his term for another year, using another interpretation of the Basic Law and the Election Law, so he could align the next presidential and parliamentary elections.


Since then, Mahmoud Abbas has remained president of the Fatah-controlled areas of the Palestinian territories.


Mahmoud Abbas announced his resignation as leader of the PLO on 22 August 2015.


The source for specific allegations against Mahmoud Abbas was one of Arafat's most trusted aides, Mohammed Rashid, accused by the PA of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars, who threatened to expose corruption scandals in the Palestinian Authority.


Mahmoud Abbas accused Schanzer of acting with malice and pursuing an agenda against the brothers, even though he contended that he's a private citizen and not a public figure, so we wouldn't need to prove actual malice to win.


In reply, the magazine has argued that Mahmoud Abbas's suit is aimed at intimidating his critics and stopping debate.


On 23 January 2005, Israeli radio reported that Mahmoud Abbas had secured a thirty-day ceasefire from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


On 9 April 2005, Mahmoud Abbas said that the killing of three Palestinians in southern Gaza by Israeli soldiers was a deliberate violation of the declared ceasefire deal.


Mahmoud Abbas made the statement shortly after three Palestinian teenage boys were shot dead by Israeli troops in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.


On 2 March 2008, Mahmoud Abbas stated he was suspending peace talks with Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to press on with military operations against militants who have been launching home-made rockets into southern Israel.


On 20 May 2008 Mahmoud Abbas said he would resign from his office if the current round of peace talks had not yielded an agreement in principle "within six months".


In September 2008, Olmert had presented him with a map that delineated the borders of the proposed PA state, for which Israel would annex 6.3 percent of the West Bank and compensate the Palestinians with 5.8 percent, which Mahmoud Abbas stated he rejected out of hand, insisting instead to demarcate the 4 June 1967 borders of Palestine.


Mahmoud Abbas said that Olmert did not give a map of the proposal and that he could not sign without seeing the proposal.


Mahmoud Abbas said that he was not an expert on maps and pointed to Olmert's corruption investigation.


In 2012, Mahmoud Abbas floated the idea of accepting a two-state solution which outlined Palestine as existing within the 1967 borders with a capital in East Jerusalem.


On 23 June 2016, Mahmoud Abbas repeated to the European Parliament a false press report that rabbis in Israel were calling for Palestinian wells to be poisoned.


Mahmoud Abbas retracted the statement the following day, acknowledging that the claim was not true and stating that he 'didn't intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world'.


Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Mahmoud Abbas's statement spread a "blood libel".


On 25 May 2006, Mahmoud Abbas gave Hamas a ten-day deadline to accept the 1967 ceasefire lines.


Mahmoud Abbas warned Hamas on 8 October 2006, that he would call new legislative elections if it did not accept a coalition government.


On 16 December 2006, Mahmoud Abbas called for new legislative elections, to bring an end to the parliamentary stalemate between Fatah and Hamas in forming a national coalition government.


On 14 June 2007, Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Hamas-led unity government of Haniyeh, declared a state of emergency, and appointed Salam Fayyad in his place.


On 18 June 2007, the European Union promised to resume direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, and Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the National Security Council, a sticking point in the defunct unity government with Hamas.


Also in May 2009, Mahmoud Abbas made a visit to Canada, where he met with foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


In February 2010, Mahmoud Abbas visited Japan for the third time as Palestinian President.


Mahmoud Abbas visited Hiroshima, the first such visit by a Palestinian leader, and spoke about the suffering of Hiroshima, which he compared to the suffering of the Palestinians.


In July 2012, Mahmoud Abbas accused former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of fabricating a conversation between them and denied such a conversation took place.


In January 2019, Mahmoud Abbas accepted the chairmanship of the United Nations' Group of 77, a coalition of 134 mainly developing nations and China, on behalf of Palestine, which is a non-member observer state of the UN.


Mahmoud Abbas was handed the gavel by Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the outgoing chairman.


In 2012, Mahmoud Abbas told Al Mayadeen, a Beirut television station affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah, that he "challenges anyone who can deny that the Zionist movement had ties with the Nazis before World War II".