Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

News, December 2008


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)




Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Ahmed Bahar, the New Legal Palestinian President According to the Palestinian Basic Law, as Abbas Ends his Term in Office Today, January 9, 2009 8:30 am ET
Background information by Hassan El-Najjar

Today, January 9, 2009, the legal term of office for the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas comes to an end, according to the Palestinian Basic Law (the Palestinian Constitution).

According to the Palestinian Basic Law, presidential elections has to be held before the end of the president's term in office. However, President Mahmoud Abbas did not hold presidential elections, in violation of the Basic Law.

In this case, the Palestinian president's office is legally vacant. The Basic Law states that the Speaker of the Legislative Council (Parliament) automatically becomes the legal president. However, the Speaker of Parliament Dr. Aziz Al-Duwaik has been kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces, in order to prevent him from assuming the presidency.

As a result of the kidnapping and detention of Dr. Al-Duwaik, his Deputy Dr. Ahmed Bahar becomes the automatic President for sixty days until new presidential election is held and a new president is elected.

Dr. Ahmed Bahar is a member of the Hamas parliamentary majority bloc and he lives in Gaza.


Hamas says Abbas no longer legitimate president, but stopping invasion is priority

Date: 09 / 01 / 2009  Time:  14:47
Gaza – Ma’an –

Hamas warned that after Friday it will no longer recognize Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian president, but said its top priority is countering the Israeli terrorist war on Gaza.

A senior official in Hamas’ Political Bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouq, said in an interview on Sawt Al-Aqsa radio in Gaza that Abbas’ rule will no longer be legal under the Palestinian law.

“The president’s term ends today [Friday]. [Because] we are living under exceptional circumstances, Hamas should set up other priorities, it has to put all internal differences aside to confront the (Israeli terrorist) offensive.”

He also said, “We are not interested in the resolutions of the UN Security Council, because the involved party in Gaza was not consulted. We are not interested in this decision but if it was implemented then the involved sides should coordinate with the sides in the field.”

Abbas and the PA have not yet commented on the issue on Friday.

Until Friday, the Israeli offensive in Gaza had swept aside the partisan bickering between Hamas and Fat'h.

Hamas has been locked in a power struggle with the Abbas Fat'h faction for years. Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006. Abbas then fired a Hamas-Fat'h unity government after Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Until now, Hamas has recognized Abbas as the elected president while disputing the legitimacy of an emergency government the president appointed in 2007.

In mid 2008 Abbas’ government unilaterally decreed that the president’s term would be extended beyond it’s formal end-date of 9 January. Hamas rejected this move, citing the Palestinian Basic Law.

Fair Use Notice

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent