Palestinians Campaign to Counter Israeli African Initiative

Sudanese President Omer Hassan AlBashir Welcomes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at Khartoum Airport in Sudan on Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Sudanese President Omer Hassan AlBashir Welcomes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at Khartoum Airport in Sudan on Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Zalman Ahnsaf

YERUSHALAYIM – A week after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trip to Africa, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has flown to the continent to try to undo or at least contain whatever was achieved for Israel.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Wednesday that they are coordinating with Sudan to “restrain Israeli movements” in Africa.

“President Mahmoud Abbas and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir discussed developing a strategy for the African continent and coordinating to restrain Israeli attempts to make a breakthrough in Africa,” al-Maliki told journalists in Khartoum.
Over the weekend, Abbas arrived in Kigali, Rwanda to make a speech to the 27th Summit of the African Union. On Tuesday, he landed in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for a three-day visit, where he signed a number of agreements with Sudan, one of which establishes a mechanism for political consultations.

Abbas was scheduled to fly on Thursday to Paris to speak with French President Francois Hollande about the French-led peace conference, and then return to Africa, to Mauritania for an Arab League summit early next week.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, The Jerusalem Post reported that Chad is the next Moslem-majority country in line to renew diplomatic relations with Israel, after Guinea did so earlier in the week.

Chad cut its connection with Israel in 1972, bowing to pressure from Libya and Sudan at the time.

Like many other African countries facing a mounting threat from Islamic extremists, Chad is keen on developing its counter-terror capabilities with Israeli advice and assistance.

In addition, Togo’s president Faure Gnassingbe is scheduled to visit Israel next month, a likely precursor to a follow-up Netanyahu trip to the continent, but next time to western Africa.