Abbas to Resign Briefly From PLO Post, But Tighten Grip

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

The official Palestinian news agency is quoting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as saying he is resigning from the PLO’s top leadership body — a move seen as an attempt to tighten his grip on power.Abbas is not resigning as Palestinian Authority president.

The WAFA agency says Abbas told journalists Sunday he and up to 10 others are submitting resignations from the PLO Executive Committee. Abbas says a new committee will be elected at a rare meeting of the Palestinian parliament-in-exile next month.

The upcoming shake-up is seen as one of Abbas’s recent efforts to sideline critics and potential rivals.

The PLO has atrophied since the 1990s, as power shifted to the Palestinian self-rule government headed by Abbas. Yet changes in PLO leadership could help determine Abbas’s eventual successor.