Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Overview of Internal and External Challenges [Updated May 20, 2005] [open pdf - 38KB]
"On January 15, 2005, Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) was sworn in as President of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Many believe that the Abbas victory marks the end of an autocratic era dominated by the late Yasir Arafat and the increased possibility of improved prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. This report details Abbas's policy platform and potential challenges he may face from within and without the Palestinian political landscape. Domestic challenges include the Israeli planned withdrawal from Gaza, upcoming parliamentary elections slated for July 17, 2005, violent anti-occupation elements, calls for financial, judicial, and security reform, as well as a paralyzed economy. Abbas also faces multiple challenges in creating a viable Palestinian state based on a secure peace with Israel: the requirements of the 'Road Map,' Palestinian violence toward Israel, and final status issues, such as the future of Jerusalem, refugees, and final political borders. This report will be updated as necessary."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22047
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/