Palestinians to hold leadership meeting on April 30

Palestinian officials say their chief legislative body will hold its first meeting in nearly a decade to elect a new leadership — a step that could pave the way for a future successor to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ahmad Majdalani, a top Palestinian official, says the nearly 700-member Palestine National Council will meet on April 30 in Ramallah.

Palestinian officials say the purpose of the meeting is to discuss political issues and to fill positions on the decision-making Executive Committee that have been vacated by deaths or illnesses among the aging leadership.

The 82-year-old Abbas, who has suffered from health issues, has never appointed a successor. While the meeting is not designated for that purpose, it could give a strong indication of who may one day succeed the Palestinian leader.