Palestinian Prime Minister Offers to Resign at Pleasure of PA President Abbas
Amid considerable speculation that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will create a new government, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Sunday offered his resignation if Abbas so desires. On Sunday, the Fatah Central Committee recommended that a new government be formed that is limited to members of the Palestine Liberation Organization – the umbrella group that officially speaks for the Palestinian people in the international community. Not coincidentally, rival faction Hamas is not a PLO member and would therefore be excluded from the successor government. Abbas himself is serving the 14th year of a four-year term in office because the bifurcation between Fatah, the ruling faction of the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank, and Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip, has precluded any chance of national elections. The two groups have signed several reconciliation agreements, but none of the deals was ever implemented despite international efforts such as Egyptian mediation.