U.S. Ally Mahmoud Abbas in Serious Trouble

Palestinian President is losing support at home, accused of treachery.

ByABC News
October 6, 2009, 6:33 AM

JERUSALEM, Oct. 6, 2009— -- President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is in dire political trouble.

The U.S. ally is being accused by Palestinians of colluding with Israel and the United States in sidelining the controversial Goldstone report on Israel's military operation in Gaza.

The U.N.-sponsored report attracted widespread coverage last month with its stark allegations that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes. Israel launched a concerted campaign to discredit the report. Most Palestinians saw it as a valuable diplomatic weapon with which to pressure Israel.

But, in Geneva Friday, Abbas, under pressure from the United States and Israel, agreed to defer a U.N. Human Rights Council vote on the report until next March, effectively burying it.

The story has outraged Palestinians across the political spectrum. Abbas is being accused of treachery. Even his moderate Fatah colleagues have publicly expressed their dismay.

There were demonstrations Monday in Ramallah, where protestors called for his resignation: "Listen Abbas, our people's blood is not spilled in vain."

One banner read, "Ignoring the Goldstone report is ignoring the blood of the martyrs."

He has never been popular and the accusation of collaboration with Israel has never been far from the surface. His standing is now at a critical low.