Palestinian National Council elects President Abbas as Palestine Liberation Organization chairman

Netanyahu slams ‘Holocaust denier’ Abbas after remarks on Jewish history

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Abbas's expected reappointment came at the end of a four-day meeting by the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

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Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) Executive Committee on Friday, as the veteran leader sought to renew his legitimacy while installing loyalists who he hopes will eventually continue his legacy.

The PLO, an umbrella group which is dominated by Abbas´s Fatah party and includes most Palestinian factions but not Hamas, represents the Palestinians internationally.

Last Monday, the PNC's 23rd congress kicked off in Ramallah - its first congress in 22 years.

Although his term as president expired in 2009, infighting with Hamas has made elections impossible.

The Palestinian leadership has become increasingly frustrated with the American administration, particularly since President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, in a break with decades of global consensus that the city's fate should be decided in peace talks.

A number of potential rivals, including Yasser Abed Rabbo, were removed.

By a show of hands, congress participants also endorsed 15 of the Executive Committee's 18 members, with the remaining three seats intended for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Ismail Haniya, the Head of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, delivers a speech in Gaza City on April 30, 2018.

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