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Was the President of the State of Palestine targeted in an assassination attempt?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reads a statement as he meets French President Emmanuel Macron in October 2023 in Ramallah
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reads a statement as he meets French President Emmanuel Macron in October 2023 in Ramallah Copyright Christophe Ena/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Christophe Ena/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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Some social media users are sharing a clip claiming the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas's convoy came under fire.

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A video allegedly showing the assassination attempt of the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, has gone viral on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The video viewed by millions of users, shows an exchange of gunfire between two groups in a town. The body of a man can be seen lying on the ground.

"The convoy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was attacked, and one of the guards was shot dead," tweeted one account.

Even the Belarusian media outlet Nexta shared the video claiming it shows how Abbas's convoy under attack. The media also claims Abbas’s bodyguard was killed in the shootout. 

Within a few hours, the news went viral and even some media outlets such as the state-run Russian news agency TASS shared the alleged report of the assassination attempt.

The Cube found these videos have nothing to do with Mahmoud Abbas. They were filmed on 7 November and show a police raid of drug traffickers in the Jalazone refugee camp located near Ramallah in the West Bank.

This information matches the statement of the Palestinian security forces spokesperson who confirmed that: “Six security personnel were injured, one of them seriously, during the pursuit of a person wanted in drug cases and aggravated assault in Jalazone.”

According to the United Nations, the Jalazone refugee camp was established in 1949.

Currently, more than 16,000 Palestinian refugees live there, where extreme poverty, unemployment, and overcrowding prevail. 

A leader seen as out of touch and widely unpopular

Mahmoud Abbas has led the Palestinian Authority for 18 years but has only limited control over the West Bank and none over Gaza where his government was violently ousted by Hamas in 2007.

The 88-year-old leader is seen as out of touch and widely unpopular. He has been criticised for not doing enough for Palestine. 

According to a poll published in September by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, 78% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign.

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