21. Work For An Open and Transparent Palestinian Leadership Transition

While Mahmoud Abbas remains the Palestinian Authority president, the jockeying for position to replace him has begun in earnest. Abbas has consistently undercut any potential rivals and ensured that there is no clear candidate to replace him after he has gone. Not only will this lead to chaos in the immediate transition period, it hampers any type of preparation or planning on the part of Palestinians, the U.S., Israel, and Arab states, all of whom want to ensure some measure of stability and continuity in the West Bank after Abbas departs the scene. All outside parties should pressure Abbas to declare a short-term successor who can govern the Palestinian Authority until elections for a permanent replacement are arranged, and thereby avoid potential chaos and bloodshed and a further deterioration in already abysmal Palestinian governance.