Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority since 2005, is 85 years old and has not picked a successor - not that it would matter.
There are numerous well armed Palestinian Arab militias in Judea and Samaria poised to seize power for competing personalities and factions the moment that Mahmoud Abbas exits the stage.
Their guns for the most part will be aimed at each other. After all, it wasn’t Jews that Hamas militiamen threw off of the roof tops in Gaza when they took over violently, it was Fatah members.
Nonetheless, it can be expected that various forces will also attack Israelis, both to garner favor on the Palestinian street and to compel Israel to inject itself into the fray.
Who ends up in power is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps the only thing that can be reasonably predicted is that if this plays out after January 19th that with Biden in the White House, Washington is going to be both painfully naive and cynical in who or what it supports on the Palestinian Arab side and cruelly demanding and unreasonable with regard to anything Israel does or does not do in response to the developing situation.
If, indeed, we face a chaotic post Abbas period, it may be that the most effective approach will be on a regional/municipal level, essentially abandoning the Palestinian Authority as the platform for interfacing with the Palestinians.
There certainly is an historical and practical basis for Israel to deal with the Palestinian Arabs on a regional/municipal level. Even at the height of Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, Palestinian municipal authorities worked in cooperation with Israel to restore sewer lines and other infrastructure
damaged in the Operation.
Labels and slogans aside, such an approach could lead to the development of a group of stable and viable Palestinian regional autonomies - a policy suggested by Dr. Mordechai Kedar a long time ago -serving the interests of the Palestinian Arab residents without providing a breeding ground for conflict with the Jewish State.
Dr. Aaron Lerner and his late father Dr. Joseph Lerner founded the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) government accredited news organization in 1992,which provides an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations.