Palestinian president condemned for 'attacking' leftist politburo

Palestinian president condemned for insulting and attempting to 'attack' leftist politburo
2 min read
26 July, 2017
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was accused of using an unspecified “repulsive” insult against a senior member of the PFLP movement, Omar Shihada.
The 82-year-old had reportedly verbally attacked a Palestinian communist wing's politburo member [Getty]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been accused of 'assaulting' a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) during a meeting between the PFLP's Executive Committee and the PLO's Fatah Central Committee. 

Gaza based news outlet Falesteen Alyoum reported that 82-year-old Abbas had verbally attacked the Palestinian communist wing's politburo Omar Shihada during a meeting, and had his bodyguard attempt to physically attack him.

Shihada had allegedly become angry at the way in which Abbas was dominating the meeting and had not allowed PFLP members a chance to speak, despite it being their turn to talk according to the meeting schedule.

For that reason, he confronted Abbas and asked why this was happening. According to the report, Abbas told Shihada to "shut up" and said he is not allowed to determine whose turn it is to talk.

Abbas had then used an unspecified "repulsive" insult against Shihada, and his bodyguard had proceeded to attempt to attack him.

Member of the PFLP's political bureau Rabah Muhanna slammed Abbas for his inappropriate behaviour.

In April, the PA slashed funds to the PFLP, a controversial move which caused much anger among Palestinians.

The fund was established to support the PLO and distributes funds to various Palestinian factions, but the group, which combines Arab nationalism with Marxit-Leninist ideology, said its share of the funds has been cut in a politically-motivated move by the Fatah leader.

Abbas is ultimately responsible for the management of the fund.

"The decision is wrong, it seems like Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is not well read in modern history. In all of the front's history it has never responded well to pressure - neither regional nor international," Rabah Muhanna, member of the political bureau for the group told The New Arab, at the time.