West Bank

Seeking to block rival, Abbas calls for Fatah, PLO elections

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing for leadership elections in his Fatah movement and the PLO before the end of the year, as part of what senior officials say is largely an elaborate attempt to block the return of an exiled rival backed by several Arab states.

Abbas's decision to hold such elections is a response to growing Arab pressure to take back Mohammed Dahlan, a former top aide and millionaire businessman who in exile forged close ties with leaders of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region.

The 81-year-old Abbas has no plans to step down or designate a successor, despite a recent health scare in which doctors ordered an...