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Abbas accepts resignation of Abed Rabbo as head of Palestinian TV and radio

February 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Palestinian sources in the occupied West Bank have confirmed the resignation of the General Supervisor of the Palestinian Authority’s Radio and Television Service. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted that Yasser Abed Rabbo will step down from the role.

Rumours of the resignation began circulating two weeks ago, when it was said that Abbas would dismiss Abed Rabbo, as the latter and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad refused to deliver a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu about the peace process, the Israelis’ stances on it, and the Palestinian Authority’s position. Abed Rabbo denied being aware of any such rumours.

Nevertheless, Abed Rabbo has been subjected recently to criticism by Fatah leaders, led by the head of the employees’ union, Bassam Zakarneh. The union boss called on the PA president to dismiss Abed Rabbo, alleging that his union’s affairs were not aired on Palestinian TV and radio.

Fatah’s Revolutionary Council has also demanded Abeda Rabbo’s dismissal in several meetings. Many notes were submitted to the organisation’s Central Committee in this regard. Similarly, requests have been made for President Abbas to withdraw powers from Abed Rabbo accruing from his role with the PLO Executive Committee. Abed Rabbo was accused of disrupting the work of grassroots organisations as well as budget allocations from the Ministry of Finance.

Yasser Abed Rabbo is regarded as a controversial figure, not least because of his participation in discussions which led to the so-called “Geneva Document”, written together with Israeli Yossi Beilin. The proposal was the first time that a mainstream Palestinian figure was party to a suggestion that the Palestinian refugees give up on the right to return to their homeland.