Top Abbas adviser al-Sheikh recorded cursing PA leader over succession woes
Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh is reportedly recorded cursing PA leader Mahmoud Abbas as “the son of 66 whores” over frustration about who will succeed him.
A longtime member of the ruling Fatah party and a top adviser to Abbas, al-Sheikh is viewed as one of several contenders to succeed the 86-year-old leader.
In recordings released by a Hamas-affiliated site in Gaza, al-Sheikh is purportedly heard saying that “the succession is at the heart of everything” and that Abbas “is complicit in the anarchy and has an interest in maintaining it.”
“It pains me to say these things, but this process is completely different from after the death of Yasser Arafat,” he says expressing his frustration that Abbas does not consult other leaders on the process.
Abbas is the “son of 66 whores, he comes and gives his decisions without explanations. He is not right in the head if he thinks we can do the right thing without explaining his intentions,” he says.
Al-Sheikh was recently appointed secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, boosting his chances to eventually succeed Abbas as head of the Fatah party.
However, Sheikh also has little public legitimacy, having never been democratically elected to a senior position. He is also disliked by many for his close ties to Israeli officials and to the unpopular Abbas.