Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

Palestinian PM and unity government resign after Fatah vote

The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new one is formed

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah speaks during an opening ceremony of a medical centre in the West Bank village of Beit Ula, near Hebron, January 28, 2019. EPA
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah speaks during an opening ceremony of a medical centre in the West Bank village of Beit Ula, near Hebron, January 28, 2019. EPA

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah has tendered his resignation and that of his unity government to President Mahmoud Abbas, he said on Tuesday, dealing a blow to faltering reconciliation efforts with Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers.

The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new one is formed, it said in a statement issued after a weekly cabinet meeting.

There was no immediate comment from Mr Abbas, but his Fatah faction, at a meeting he chaired two days ago, recommended that the government be replaced. A Hamas official condemned the move as an attempt to marginalise and exclude the group from Palestinian politics.

Mr Hamdallah, a little-known academic, headed the national unity government formed in 2014 and led the West Bank-based Fatah's reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The two groups signed a reconciliation deal two years ago which set in motion a plan for Abbas's Palestinian Authority to resume governing in Gaza and take up control of the coastal enclave's crossing points into Egypt and Israel.

But disputes over power-sharing and disagreements over policy towards Israel have hampered the deal's implementation.

Updated: January 29, 2019 03:19 PM

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