For the third time in recent weeks, reports have surfaced that Mahmoud Abbas will step down as chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
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.
Last week, the 80-year-old Abbas announced his intention to resign his Fatah posts, but no replacement has been named yet. A report said that Fatah leaders have unanimously rejected his resignation, and urged him to run for another term as Fatah chairman.
Several reports in the past weeks have said that Abbas plans to quit his positions, mostly due to “fatigue.” He recently met with chief PA negotiator Saeb Eerekat, who is seen as his likely successor.
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.