Abbas to resign, briefly, from PLO post, but tighten grip

JERUSALEM (AP) — The official Palestinian news agency is quoting President Mahmoud Abbas as saying he is resigning from the Palestine Liberation Organization's top leadership body — a move seen as an attempt to tighten his grip on power.

Abbas is not resigning as Palestinian 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 Palestinians' parliament-in-exile next month.

The upcoming shakeup is seen as one of Abbas' 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 the PLO leadership could help determine Abbas' eventual successor.

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