Senior Fatah and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Jibril Al-Rajoub is likely to succeed current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Shehab reported yesterday, citing Israeli news website Walla.
Walla claimed that Al-Rajoub's senior position as head of the Palestinian Football Association, closeness to Abbas and ability to impact the Palestinian people qualify him to take Abbas' position. The news site also claimed that Al-Rajoub has the support of several officials, including dismissed Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan.
Al-Rajoub has previously been named as a potential successor to Abbas, with a Spanish newspaper writing a year ago – when Abbas was admitted to hospital three times and concerns about his health began to circulate – that Al-Rajoub was the preferred successor to the president.
Abbas has served as president since 2005, when he was endorsed by Fatah's Revolutionary Council and elected by the Palestinian public to head the Palestinian Authority (PA). Whether elections will be held to choose Al-Rajoub as Abbas' successor, or whether he will simply be appointed to the role, is not yet clear.