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Abbas said quitting chairmanship of PLO executive

Possible resignation does not affect his standing as PA leader, but is seen as a sign of political instability, factionalism

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 31, 2015. (Flash90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 31, 2015. (Flash90)

Lebanese and Palestinian sources say Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has quit the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen television outlet said Wednesday that other senior PA officials would join Abbas in resigning.

Channel 10’s Arab affairs analyst Hezi Simantov tweeted that “Palestinian sources” said Abbas would resign as chair of the PLO’s key executive body, but had not done so yet. The resignation is expected on Saturday, they said.

The move does not affect Abbas’s standing as Palestinian Authority president, but reflects growing dissatisfaction and factionalism in Palestinian politics.

There was no official confirmation of the reports from Palestinian officials.

Elected in 2005, Abbas is now in the eleventh year of what was supposed to be a four-year term. He has threatened to resign or dissolve the Palestinian Authority several times since becoming president of the PA.

Last Wednesday, Abbas told Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that he intends to announce his resignation at the next Fatah convention, Channel 2 reported, citing Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal. Abbas also reportedly said that he will soon appoint a deputy, who would apparently be a hand-picked successor.

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