By Micah Halpern
The Palestinian Central Council is a decision-making body of the PLO. It is composed of 141 people - and it has not met since 2018.
The Council has called for a 2-day meeting to set plans for what appears to be the succession of 86-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas was last elected PA president in 2005 and has not been re-elected since. He has heart problems and recently suffered other health issues. Succession is on everyone’s mind.
According to the information we have, two people will be taking new positions as replacements for Abbas.
Hussein Al Sheikh (61 years old) will become the secretary general of the PLO’s Executive Committee. Rawhi Fattoouh (73 years old) will become the head of the PLO’s National Council.
Both men are insiders. They are both trusted advisers of Abbas. Neither of them symbolizes change or deviation in any way form Abbas’ style and objectives.
Nonetheless, this seems to be a step in the right direction.
But the transition may not be as smooth and uncomplicated as the Palestinian Central Council hopes for. There are many people within the Palestinian Authority who are laying claim to the mantel of leadership. And when Abbas can no longer lead, I predict serious tensions and even violence.
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