Officials: Mahmoud Abbas to resign as leader of PLO

Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday declared his intention to resign from his position as head of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to two members of the committee, in a political maneuver apparently designed to boost his legitimacy within the organization.

Mr. Abbas’s proposed resignation from the leadership committee, along with another 10 of its 18 members, enables the convening, possibly next month, of a rare, extraordinary session of the Palestine National Council, the P.L.O.’s legislative body, where new elections are to be held for the executive committee, and where those who resigned may stand for re-election.

Mr. Abbas has not resigned from his other position as president of the Palestinian Authority, the interim body that was set up under the peace accords in the 1990s to exercise limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza.