Palestinian President Abbas accepts Prime Minister's resignation
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of his prime minister and his cabinet on Tuesday night, paving the way for a new government.
Abbas’ office said that the president had requested that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah serve as a caretaker until a new government is formed, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported on Wednesday that the president will now begin consultations to form a new government made up of factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as was recommended by the Fatah Central Committee on Sunday.
A new PLO government would officially mark the end of the stalled reconciliation efforts between Abbas’ Fatah party and the radical Islamic Hamas movement. Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
The first government formed by Hamdallah in July 2013 was comprised of mainly independent technocrats and few Fatah members.
He formed a new government in June 2014, called a "government of national consensus," in which some posts were left vacant for ministers from other parties, including Hamas, as reconciliation efforts were under way. No Hamas ministers, however, were appointed in the end.
Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad told an Arab satellite station on Monday that the purpose behind forming a government comprised of the PLO factions is to replace the government of national consensus which was intended to bring Hamas into to the fold.
Since 2006, there have been no parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Territories. Hamas won those last elections and a year later seized control of Gaza.
Israel, the EU and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.