President Mahmoud Abbas
President Mahmoud AbbasPhoto: Flash 90

Citing sources in the Fatah movement, Al-Akhbar newspaper reports that Palestinian Arab, Jordanian, and Egyptian officials have recently been meeting to discuss possible scenarios that may arise after the death of Mahmoud Abbas, also referred to as Abu Mazen, as well as future control over the Palestinian Authority.

According to the report, the meetings were attended by Hussein al-Sheikh, who attacked Abu Mazen in a tape that was released, persons in the Jordanian royal house, and officers in Egyptian intelligence.

In addition, Palestinian officials visited Cairo and asked for Egypt's assistance to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the creation of a new legitimate entity for Palestinian representation based on the organizations rivaling Fatah, led by Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front.

These parties also appealed to the Jordanian regime with a similar request so that after Abu Mazen's death it would be possible for them to control the Palestinian Authority based on the Fatah movement, to recognize them as representatives of the Palestinian Arab people, and to allow them to control the funding sources from which salaries are paid to more than 150,000 Palestinian Authority employees

Al-Akhbar points out that Hussein al-Sheikh is influential in the Fatah movement and is very close to the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence, but he is opposed by Mahmoud al-Aalul, Abu Mazen's deputy in the leadership of Fatah, who sees himself as a candidate to succeed Abu Mazen.