Palestinian government submits resignation to president Mahmoud Abbas

Featured Palestinian government submits resignation to president Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, complicating efforts at reconciliation with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

"The prime minister and his ministers welcome the Fatah Central Committee's decision to form a new government," said Palestinian Authority government spokesperson Yusuf al-Mahmoud in a statement. "Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has placed his government at the disposal of the President of the Authority," he added, hinting at impending resignations within the cabinet.

We put our government at the disposal of President Mahmoud Abbas and we welcome the recommendations of the Fatah Central Committee to form a new government.

Hamdallah’s resignation came just days after Abbas asked him to step down, according to reports. The move will likely hamper an already delicate relationship with Gaza’s Hamas rules, but Abbas does not want Hamas to be excluded from the new government to be formed.

"We hope that all Palestinian factions will participate in this (new) government and I appeal to the Hamas movement to participate," he said.

Hamas officials, however, have described the move as an attempt to exclude the group from Palestinian politics.

"The announcement of the formation of a new government is a recognition of the tragedies and disasters caused by the government of al Hamdallah, and there is no legitimacy for any future government without national consensus," Sami Abu Zuhri, official spokesman for Hamas, wrote on Twitter.

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Hamdallah headed the national unity government formed in 2015 and led Fatah’s reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007. The two groups signed an agreement two years ago which called for Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to gradually resume governance over Gaza.

Assuming Abbas accepts their resignations, Hamdallah and the other PA ministers will continue to serve until a new government is formed.

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