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Abbas turns to King Abdullah amid Palestinian succession crisis

For the second time in 40 days, Mahmoud Abbas made an unusual visit to Amman on a Jordanian army helicopter. Is the visit only political or is there an attempt to get Jordan’s advice on the Palestinian succession issue?
Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas while standing for the group family photo with other Arab leaders during the 30th Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital Tunis on March 31, 2019.

The drive from Ramallah to Amman takes many hours for ordinary Palestinians because of the Israeli border checkpoint on the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge. But for President Mahmoud Abbas the trip is just a 90-minute drive with a short stop at the Israeli side that usually takes minutes because of Abbas’ VIP status.

However, during the last 40 days, Abbas and his top aides have made the trip twice by way of helicopter belonging to the Jordanian army. It is not clear why this method of transportation was used. Is it because of the coronavirus pandemic, the security situation due to the unhappiness by some Palestinians with their president or simply because of Abbas' health? Whatever the reason, the visits have increased speculation about both the health and longevity of the 86-year-old Palestinian president.

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