Expert: Palestinians hedging their bets with hybrid strategy

Abbas has traditionally pursued only one policy option at a time, but has recently adopted a hybrid approach with the encouragement of slightly younger Palestinian leaders.

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September 28, 2017 08:58
1 minute read.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greets delegates after addressing the 72nd United Nations

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greets delegates after addressing the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, US, September 20, 2017. . (photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS)

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is pursuing a hybrid strategy in which it seeks bilateral negotiations with Israel, but also makes moves to challenge Israel and gain recognition in international institutions, Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on Wednesday.

“The Palestinians are pursuing a strategy with multiple tracks,” Rumley, who recently co-authored a biography of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a phone interview.

Rumley said that since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January, the Palestinians have been open to a renewal of American-led peace talks, but also pursued international initiatives in UNESCO and most recently in Interpol, the international police cooperation organization.

According to Rumley, Abbas has traditionally pursued only one policy option at a time, but has recently adopted a hybrid approach with the encouragement of slightly younger Palestinian leaders.

“In the past for Abbas – if it was negotiations, the focus was on negotiations, and if it was the international campaign, the focus was on international moves,” Rumley said. “But I think we are now seeing him blend different policy tracks with the encouragement of younger Palestinian leaders.”

Rumley mentioned that the current PLO Ambassador to the US, Husam Zomlot, and top Fatah official Muhammed Shtayyeh have advocated for a hybrid strategy for many years.


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