Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday appointed Saeb Erekat to the post of secretary-general of the PLO.Middle East Monitor adds:
Erekat, who served as chief PLO negotiator for the past two decades, will replace Yasser Abed Rabbo, whom Abbas fired last week.
The move improves Erekat’s chances of eventually becoming head of the PA.
Abed Rabbo, a veteran PLO official and former information minister, was fired after falling out with Abbas.
Palestinian sources claimed that Abed Rabbo had joined forces with former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad and ousted Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan to undermine Abbas. The sources claimed that Abed Rabbo had recently visited the United Arab Emirates, where he held secret talks with Dahlan.
Dahlan has been living in the Gulf country ever since Abbas expelled him from Fatah four years ago. Abbas has accused Dahlan of conspiring against the PA leadership, murder and financial corruption – charges the latter has strongly denied.
Abbas’s decision to appoint Erekat to the top job is seen by some Palestinians as a significant promotion for the chief negotiator. They see it as an indication of Abbas’s full confidence in Erekat and that he considers him fit to serve as the next PA president.
Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO Yasser Abed Rabbo said Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas does not have the power to sack him, Quds Press reported yesterday.Abbas is the chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, head of Fatah, President of the Palestinian Authority, and President of the "State of Palestine." But the Palestinian Authority and "State of Palestine" reports to the PLO anyway, so he holds all the cards despite the pretense of democracy and procedures.
He said he was "surprised by the news that Abbas had sacked him" and reiterated that he did not receive any information about this or the reason behind the action. He said media outlets had informed him that Abbas was planning to take this step.
Abed Rabbo added: "Abbas does not have the power to sack me. This is the power of the Executive Committee. If it planned to sack me, this must be in a general meeting and it must be clearly announced."
But he is now 80 yeas old and it seems fitting for him to groom a fellow liar Saeb Erekat as his successor, since he has no one else he trusts.
Here is an infographic I made in 2012 that I believe is still accurate: