PA preparing to name Abbas's replacement?

Amid reports of deterioration in PA chairman's condition, Fatah authorizes his deputy to serve as acting PA chief.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been dealing with ongoing rumors about the deteriorating medical condition of its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.

In recent days, Fatah's executive committee has discussed the possibility that PA deputy chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul may have to replace Abbas in case a situation arises in which he will be prevented from fulfilling his duties.

A PA-based news website reported on Saturday that during the meeting it was decided to amend the Fatah constitution in a manner which would allow al-Aloul to serve as acting PA chairman for up to three months if necessary.

However, Fatah did not address a situation in which Abbas’s condition would not allow him to fulfill his duties for more than three months, beyond issuing a vague statement that after that period it would be necessary to set a date for elections.

Recently there have been increasing reports that the PA chairman is suffering from some form of cancer. During his recent visit to the United States, Abbas was admitted to a hospital in the Baltimore area.

The PA denied that Abbas was hospitalized in order to receive treatment for cancer, and insisted his medical condition is good. Abbas himself admitted in an interview that he had been admitted to an American hospital, but insisted it was only for a routine check up and that he was given a clean bill of health.

“Our presence here was a suitable chance for us to make some medical checks,” he told Palestine TV during a short interview. “We actually made those checks and we are out now and, thank God, all results are positive and are assuring. This is God’s blessing on us.”