Hundreds of members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement are gathering in the West Bank for a special leadership conference that is expected to cement the rule of the longtime leader.
Delegates will be voting for membership in Fatah's two main decision-making bodies. While the election is expected to bring some new faces into the leadership structure, it is largely seen as an attempt to block the return of Abbas' exiled rival, Mohammed Dahlan.
Dahlan has reportedly forged close ties with the leaders of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region.
In recent months, Abbas has come under growing pressure from several Arab leaders to reinstate Dahlan.
Instead, Abbas decided to schedule Fatah elections, effectively excluding Dahlan.
Abbas is scheduled to address the gathering this evening.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online