Palestinian Prime Minister Offers Resignation Two Weeks After Taking Post

It Is Unclear Whether Abbas Will Accept the Resignation

Getty Images

By Reuters

Published June 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas just two weeks after taking office, an official in his press office told Reuters on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether Abbas would accept the resignation by Hamdallah, an academic and political independent whose cabinet convened for the first time last week.

The official told Reuters Hamdallah made the abrupt, unexpected move because of a “dispute over his powers”.

A note on Hamdallah’s Facebook page said his decision came after “outside interferences in his powers and duties”.

His cabinet consists overwhelmingly of members of the Fatah faction led by Abbas and political commentators had immediately questioned how much leeway he would have to manoeuvre.

Hamdallah’s predecessor, American-educated economist Salam Fayyad, resigned in April after six years in power defined by tough economic challenges and rivalries with Fatah politicians eager to control the levers of power.

Abbas chose Hamdallah while considering that Western countries who help keep the struggling West Bank government afloat with aid money were keen to see clean hands at the helm.

Corruption allegations have dogged Fatah and Palestinian government officials for years, and a successor who would meet donors’ expectations would be difficult to find.

AWKWARD TIMING

The timing is especially awkward, coming a week before Abbas is set to meet United States Secretary of State John Kerry as part of an American bid to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Foreign dignitaries had been streaming into Ramallah, the Palestinians’ de facto capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to meet the newly-minted prime minister and to back the peace drive.

In a meeting on Wednesday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Hamdallah: “It has been my privilege to work with your predecessor and I am very much looking forward to working with you and as I said, I wish you every success.”

Since a brief civil war in 2007 between the Western-backed secular Fatah party and the Islamist group Hamas, Palestinians have had no functioning parliament or national elections.

Abbas exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank while Hamas, which won 2006 legislative polls, has its own administration and prime minister in the Gaza Strip.

Attempts to cement a unity pact between the two parties have failed to take hold and ordinary Palestinians, enduring mounting living costs and unemployment, have grown disenchanted with bickering politicians.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement: “Hamdallah’s resignation indicates that unilateral steps remain weak, are useless and do not resolve the internal Palestinian problem … The solution is not in having many governments. It is in the implementing the reconciliation agreement.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.