Palestinian National Council to meet for first time in years amid leadership rumours

Palestinian National Council to meet for first time in years amid leadership rumours

The Palestinian National Council will convene today in Ramallah for the first time in nine years to reflect on recent

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Photo: AP/Majdi Mohammed

The Palestinian National Council will convene today in Ramallah for the first time in nine years to reflect on recent escalations and chart the course for future developments.

Comprised of approximately 800 members, the body was created to represent the Palestinian community worldwide. Central to today’s discussion will be a recently passed law giving Israeli authorities the right to strip Palestinians in Jerusalem of their residency papers if deemed a threat to the Israeli state.

Possible responses, such as a proposal to officially cut off ties with Israel, will likely be overshadowed by the succession of 83-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas. Critics have boycotted the meeting, as they accuse Abbas of using it to assert his own agenda ahead of a critical leadership vote in which he hopes to reestablish the two-thirds majority needed for major decisions.

With the declining probability of the US approving Palestinian statehood, confidence in Mr Abbas is wavering. Expect this meeting’s outcomes in conjunction with his declining health to cause the question of succession to further divide Palestine’s factions and threaten to prevent substantial progress in the coming months.

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