ABBAS THREATENS TO QUIT
Reuters reports another wrinkle in the Road Map to Peace:
Mahmoud Abbas threatened to quit as Palestinian prime minister and offered to resign from a top Fatah body in a dispute with internal critics over peace moves with Israel, officials said on Tuesday.
Israel also stepped up pressure on Abbas, demanding he dismantle militant Palestinian groups, as mandated by a U.S.-backed peace plan, following a suicide bombing that killed a 65-year-old Israeli woman in her home near the West Bank.
Abbas sent President Yasser Arafat a letter in which he tendered his resignation from their Fatah faction’s policymaking Central Committee, the backbone of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian officials said.
The Central Committee said it rejected his resignation and Abbas’s office made clear he was not quitting Fatah.
Hardline members of the Central Committee prompted the move by asking the moderate Abbas to step down as prime minister after he failed to persuade Israel to release thousands of Palestinian prisoners to bolster a “road map” to peace.
Query: Why is nobody calling him “Abu Mazen” anymore? Even Fox News, the last redoubt, has quit.