Palestinian leader accepts PM's resignation

Rami Hamdallah had announced on Thursday he was quitting just two weeks after being picked by President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Hamdallah is former head of al-Najah University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus [AP]
    Hamdallah is former head of al-Najah University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus [AP]

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who announced on Thursday that he was quitting just two weeks after taking office.

    "The president accepted the resignation of the prime minister and designated him to head an interim government,"
    Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said on Sunday.

    Hamdallah's resignation was prompted by disagreements with his two deputies.

    The prime minister heads the Palestinian Authority, the self-rule government in parts of the West Bank that handles day-to-day affairs of Palestinians

    While he is not involved in diplomacy, the timing of the change comes as a tricky time for Abbas. US Secretary of State John Kerry is about to return to the region as part of his push to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    The 54-year-old hamdallah was named to the position on June 2 following the resignation of Salam Fayyad.

    Abbas had asked Hamdallah, the former head of al-Najah University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus, to form a new government.

    A new 24-member cabinet under Hamdallah's leadership was sworn in on June 6, and u pon accepting the nomination Hamdallah quickly pledged to follow a similar path to Fayyad, saying he would leave the government line-up largely unchanged.

    Fayyad himself resigned in mid-April after months of difficult relations with Abbas that reached a crisis over the resignation of finance minister Nabil Qassis, which the prime minister accepted but the president did not.

    That power struggle resulted in Fayyad stepping down but staying on as caretaker prime minister upon Abbas's request, with his term drawing to a close on June 2.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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