[colonial attitude] France looking for successor to PA President Abbas

Middle East Monitor  /  February 14, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron has been looking for a successor to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, a French writer revealed on Sunday.

Writing in Le Figaro, Georges Malbrunot said Macron is concerned with the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle so he is looking for changes to move things forward.

Malbrunot revealed that Marcon, who recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Elysée Palace, commissioned French officials in Paris and in the occupied territories to look for an appropriate successor to the 87-year-old Palestinian leader. This is necessary because Abbas is clinging to power and refusing to allow elections to be held in case his party loses, the article explained.

A source close to Macron claimed that the “five former and current consul generals of France in Jerusalem, the five former and current French ambassadors to Tel Aviv, and the five former and current bosses of the DGSE (external intelligence services), were asked, each on their side, to prepare a list of two names of Palestinians who could succeed Abbas.”

One diplomat said there are difficulties in finding an alternative to Abbas, because Palestinian outside the political and institutional sphere who may be able to take on the position are unwilling to do so because they know that there are internal divisions that will hinder them.

However, Malbrunot reported another diplomat saying that France does not have authority over the PA and so should coordinate with the US on this issue. But the US is not interested in involving Paris in this matter, he added.

The newspaper stated that Macron is still committed to the “two-state solution”, but this is now unrealistic as a result of the intensification of Israeli colonization of the occupied territories, and the Palestinian internal divisions, a powerless and challenged PA and an Israeli government that is ideologically opposed to the slightest concession on land.