The sources said Abbas receives protection by the Israeli military in
Ramallah and during his travel throughout the West Bank. They said the PA
chairman receives a military escort when he leaves Ramallah, with the ISA on
for any Palestinian assassination attempt.
In October 2009, Abbas came under unprecedented criticism from
Palestinians and Arabs for his decision to shelve a United Nations report
that charged Israel with war crimes. The sources said the criticism caused
Abbas to fear for his physical safety.
"There has been no reports of plots against Abbas, but the atmosphere
has been volatile," another security source said.
The sources said Israel's protection of Abbas was welcomed by the PA
chairman and the Palestinian leadership. They said the PA has acknowledged
that it could not thwart threats against Abbas and his senior ministers
without Israeli help.
Over the last 18 months, the PA has enhanced its security forces through
a U.S.-financed training program. But they said the U.S. effort, focused on
the National Security Forces, has not significantly improved intelligence on
potential threats to the Palestinian regime in Ramallah.
For his part, Abbas has insisted that he would resign from the PA as
well as the PLO. Abbas aides said the resignation could take place over the
next three months.