Top PLO official says Palestinian leader fired him illegally

Yasser Abed Rabbo has been replaced with Abbas confidant Saeb Erekat, and claims that firing him will harm the organization

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A top PLO official recently fired by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he was dismissed illegally in a move that bodes ill for Palestinian institutions.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, who has criticized Abbas' policies and leadership, was removed as the Palestine Liberation Organization's No. 2 two weeks ago. He was replaced with Abbas confidant Saeb Erekat.

Abed Rabbo told reporters Sunday he was fired without a vote, and that this "harms not only me" but the organization.

Abbas' office had no comment.

Abbas has alleged in closed-door meetings that Abed Rabbo is part of a group of Palestinian politicians trying to undermine him with financial support from the United Arab Emirates.

Abed Rabbo says such "painful" allegations hurt ties with the UAE which he described as a supporter of the Palestinians.

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