The succession battle in the PA is getting complicated

A senior official in the Fatah movement claims that the movement's senior Tawfik AlTirawi, who saw himself as the successor of Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to be imprisoned and expelled from the top of the movement. Fatah senior officials demand an investigation into Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO's executive committee, on suspicion of involvement in the poisoning of Yasser Arafat.

The 88-year-old PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas successfully passed a routine medical examination at the Ramallah hospital on Tuesday. He continues to rule the PA despite his advanced age, but bitter succession battles are going on under his nose.

This time again on the agenda is senior Fatah Tawfik AlTirawi, who was the head of general intelligence in the West Bank.

A senior Fatah official, General Haj Ismail Jaber revealed on February 21 that the PA’s security forces began an intensive investigation of Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, according to him, he is likely to be sentenced to prison and fired from Fatah’s Central Committee, Al-Tirawi suspended himself from the committee a few months ago after he realized that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his close associate Hussein al-Sheikh were harassing him.

A few months ago, testimonies of PA officials in the investigation committee into the circumstances of Yasser Arafat’s death were leaked to the media, from which it became clear that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas had bad personal and political relations with Yasser Arafat, was undermining him, and had a clear interest in assassinating Arafat. Mahmoud Abbas was furious, following the leaks his position on the Palestinian street was further undermined and he is looking for revenge.

The main suspect in the leak of the evidence in the investigative committee to the media is Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik AlTirawi who headed the investigative committee from 2009 until today.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen took three immediate steps against Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, he deprived him of his personal security and removed him from the presidency of Al-Istiklal University in Jericho, he forced him to freeze his membership in Fatah’s central committee and removed him from the position responsible for the popular organizations on behalf of the Fatah movement and appointed to the position in his place the senior Fatah member Muhammad Almadani.

AlTirawi’s associates claim that he gave up these positions of his own accord because of the heavy pressure on him from senior Fatah officials and out of a desire to prove that he was not the leaker.

However, regardless of the leaks, Tawfik AlTirawi is also now being investigated on serious suspicions of corruption, it seems that the chairman of the Palestinian Authority has finally decided to eliminate him from a political point of view.

The great enemy of Tawfik AlTirawi is Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, who sees himself as the successor of the Chairman of the PA, his chances are very low in light of the bad reputation he has on the Palestinian street as a corrupt and sexually harassing person, a few months ago a tape was leaked to the media in which Hussein al-Sheikh is heard vigorously cursing the chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, thereby making himself irrelevant in regards to being a possible successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

However, the story is not over yet, the opponents of Hussein al-Sheikh at the top of Fatah demand to open an investigation against him on the suspicion that he was involved in the poisoning of Yasser Arafat.

Adli Sadek, a senior member of the Fatah movement, demands that Hussein al-Sheikh be investigated for suspected links to Yasser Arafat’s dentist, who was suspected of poisoning Yasser Arafat and died under mysterious circumstances. The dentist was a relative of Hussein al-Sheikh.

The succession battle continues with full force and casualties, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas operates in the divide and rule method and conflicts between senior Fatah officials to ensure his rule, he has no intention of stepping down from the Palestinian political stage.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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