Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day


Palestinians ponder succession after 11 years of Abbas

Unpopular after 11 years in power, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is starting to face some open machinations from would-be successors, as his dream of negotiating Palestinian statehood lies in tatters.

One likely contender is believed to be behind recent claims — swiftly denied by Abbas' camp — that the 80-year-old's health is failing, while another has complained of a "real leadership crisis" in rare open criticism of Abbas from within his Fatah movement.

On Wednesday, Abbas made his first public appearance since the rumors of ill health circulated last week, in an apparent attempt to show he is fine. In a 40-minute televised speech, he hit...