With Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas adamant about retiring, he is said to be looking for a successor – and if that is the case, he should be looking elsewhere if he is considering Saeb Erekat, the PA's top negotiator with Israel, Erekat said in an interview Sunday.
Speaking to the London-based Al Araby Al-Jadid newspaper, Erekat said that “if the situation remains the same, the Israeli occupation will succeed Abbas.” Erekat was hinting to the possibility that the PA would resign and shut itself down, demanding a single state merger in which Palestinians would become Israeli citizens.
Erekat has said on previous occasions that if progress is not made on establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, he would advocate for the “one state solution.”
Another report in Arab media on Saturday said that Erekat, along with Fatah Central Command member Mohammed Ashtiya and top Fatah terrorist Majad Faraj were leading candidates for Abbas's job.
Last week, Palestinian Authority media reported for the third time in recent weeks that Abbas will step down as head of the PA. According to a top official in the Fatah terror group, Abbas will soon announce his retirement from politics, to take effect next year.
“We can expect many great and surprising political developments in the Palestinian arena,” the official told a Saudi satellite television station. “The changes will come in the three areas – in the chairmanship of Fatah, the chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority, and the chairmanship of the Fatah Action Committee,” all positions that Abbas has held for years. Several reports in the past weeks have said that Abbas plans to quit his positions, mostly due to “fatigue.”
With that, it should be noted that Abbas has “threatened” to resign numerous times in the past, only to change his mind and remain on the job. However, sources said that this time the PA chief may really be ready to retire, due to his advanced age.