Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen – Chairman (President) of the Palestinian National Authority, Chairman of the Fatah movement. Doctor of Philosophy, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Honorary Doctor of MGIMO.
Place of Birth/Education
Abbas was born on March 26, 1935 in the city of Safed. As a child, he and his family fled from there to Syria after the capture of the city by Israeli forces during the 1947-49 Arab-Israeli war.
Graduated from the Faculty of Law of Damascus University and postgraduate studies at the Peoples’ Friendship University. Patrice Lumumba.
In 1982 he defended his Ph.D. thesis at the Moscow branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR on the topic “The secret connection between Nazism and Zionism”, the main ideas of which were interpreted by some sources as denial of the Holocaust.
Abbas helped found the Palestine National Liberation Movement (Fatah), which then became the nucleus of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). According to some reports, he participated in the preparation and financing of a number of terrorist attacks, including at the Munich Olympics in 1972, it is believed that he was directly involved in the military operations of the Palestinians. In the PLO apparatus, he headed the department of Arab and international relations.
Abbas, with a reputation as a moderate pragmatist, was one of the initiators of dialogue with representatives of the left circles of Israel in the early 1970s.
As the leader of the moderate wing of the PLO leadership, Abbas became one of the sponsors of the peace accords between the PLO and Israel. On September 13, 1993 in Washington, he signed the Palestinian-Israeli “Declaration of Principles” on behalf of the PLO leadership.
In September 2002, Abbas was nominated by Fatah as a candidate for the post of prime minister of the autonomy. The idea was blocked by Arafat.
In February 2003, he was again nominated as a candidate for the post of prime minister, and took it in May of the same year.
On May 17 and 29, 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Abbas at which they discussed the Road Map plan.
On May 20, 2003, Mahmoud Abbas had his first conversation with US President George W. Bush.
Abbas regularly appeared at international and inter-Arab meetings instead of Arafat, as he was blocked at his headquarters in Ramallah.
Bush, Sharon and Abbas met on June 4, 2003 in Jordan in the city of Aqaba to adopt the Road Map.
On May 22, 2003, Abbas met with the leadership of Hamas. Two weeks later, the leaders of the movement announced that they were breaking off negotiations in connection with his attacks on radical organizations and the commitments made at the Akkaba summit.
Abbas’s premiership lasted 129 days. During this time, it was possible to reach an agreement on a temporary truce (“hudna”) of Palestinian terrorist groups with Israel. The ceasefire lasted less than a month, and Abbas fell out with Arafat over control of the security forces and resigned.
After the death of Arafat, in the January 2005 elections, Abbas defeated Mustafa Barghouti with a score of 62.5% of the vote and became the head of the PNA.
He continued the negotiation process with Israel, for which he was included in the “black list” of the Al-Qaeda organization. He tried to negotiate a truce with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but failed to stop the suicide bombers.
On November 23, 2008, the PLO Central Council re-elected Mahmoud Abbas “President of the State of Palestine” for a new term.
On August 8, 2009, at a party meeting in Bethlehem, Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected chairman of the Fatah movement for a new term. An overwhelming majority of 2,500 delegates expressed their support for it.
On January 5, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree renaming the PNA into the “State of Palestine”, ordering appropriate changes to the official symbols, including the coat of arms and seals. By the same decree, the post of the Head of the PNA was replaced by the post of President of the State of Palestine.
May 3, 2018 Abbas was re-elected chairman of the executive committee Palestine Liberation Organization.
Mahmoud Abbas is married to Amina Abbas and they had three sons. The eldest, Mazen Abbas, died in Qatar of a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 42. The second son of Yasser Abbas is a Canadian businessman named after former PA leader Yasser Arafat. The youngest son is Tarek. Abbas has eight grandchildren.