PA official dismisses report Abbas planning to resign within two months

Ch. 1 report cited PA officials as saying 80-year-old's surprising announcement of retirement is due to fatigue; Abbas advisor labels report "Israeli rumors."

July 26, 2015 22:22

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has allegedly notified sources that he will step down from his position within two months, Channel 1 reported on Sunday.

According to PA officials cited in the report, Abbas’s announcement of retirement is due to fatigue.

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But Nimer Hammad, political adviser to Abbas, dismissed the report as “Israeli rumors.” The PA has become accustomed to such rumors coming from Israel, Hammad said. The rumor was part of an Israeli attempt to “disrupt” the work of the PA leadership, he claimed.

Speculation that the 80-yearold plans to resign also center around his failure to make progress in peace negotiations with Israel. The latest round of talks broke down in April 2014.

Channel 1 also reported that an unnamed senior Israeli minister (Interior Minister Silvan Shalom) recently met in Amman with PLO official Saeb Erekat, who is viewed as Abbas’s likely successor.

Earlier in July, Abbas appointed Erekat to the post of secretary-general of the PLO.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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