Days after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he had "no desire" to run in the upcoming presidential election, UAL MK Ahmed Tibi said Sunday that the Palestinian leader had told him in advance of his decision.
"I knew from Abbas himself, I was with him when he formulated his speech, and I was familiar with the content of the announcement [in advance]," he told Army Radio. "There was a limited number of people who knew, and I was one of them."
Tibi said he knew first hand about Abbas's recent discontent, especially after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech hailing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's settlement policy. At the end of October, Clinton said she approved of Netanyahu's decision to issue a moratorium on new construction permits, calling it "unprecedented in the context of prior to negotiations."
Although conceding that he was uncertain if elections would be held in the near future anyway, due to inter-Palestinian divisions, the Arab Israeli MK brushed aside suggestions that Abbas was bluffing just to put pressure on the US and Israel.
He said the PA president was "serious in his words, frustration and anger."
Tibi claimed that when Abbas asked the Americans why they seemingly changed their demands on Israel concerning settlement activity, they cited Netanyahu's fear of his coalition government falling apart.
"That's outrageous," said Tibi.