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Abbas appoints Erekat as new PLO secretary-general

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appointed his confidant and senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat as secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) after sacking Yasser Abed Rabbo two weeks ago.

Erekat said he would work to confront future challenges that include the Israeli settlements, arrests and assassinations in defence of the Palestinian people as well as the Israeli siege and closure policy.

Yasser Abed Rabbo said Abbas's decision to fire him was "illegal". "I was fired without a vote and this harms not only me but the organisation."

"Abbas does not have the power to sack me. This is the power of the Executive Committee. If it planned to sack me, this must be in a general meeting and it must be clearly announced," he said.

In addition to his new post as PLO secretary-general, Erekat holds the presidency of the negotiations department in addition to the Supreme National Committee to follow up on the International Criminal Court file.

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