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Palestinian prime minister resigns, opening door to unity gov’t with Hamas

PA government resignation seen as first step to Palestinian unity government

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, in June 9, 2020. (Photo: Abbas Momani/Pool via REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced the resignation of his government on Monday to the PA's President Mahmoud Abbas.

Shtayyeh said that “new governmental and political arrangements” are required now, that “take into account the emerging reality in the Gaza Strip, the national unity talks, and the urgent need for an inter-Palestinian consensus.”

According to Shtayyeh, this would require “the extension of the PA's authority over the entire land, Palestine,” a reference to statements he made at the Munich Security Conference in Germany last week. During his speech at the conference, he called for Palestinian unity and said the government was ready to form a unity government with Hamas.

“Russia has invited all Palestinian factions, who will be meeting on the 26 of this month in Moscow. We will see if Hamas is ready to come to the ground with us,” Shtayyeh had said. “We are ready to engage. If Hamas is not, then that’s a different story. We need Palestinian unity.”

The decision to dissolve the government is widely seen as a first step toward the “reformed and revitalized” Palestinian Authority envisioned by the U.S. to govern the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the ongoing war.

Arabic media reported on Sunday that Abbas will appoint an interim technocratic government led by Dr. Muhammad Mustafa, the head of the Palestinian Investment Fund, while discussions about the “Day After” the Gaza War and reforms of the PA continue.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said that the PA government's resignation is a first step toward broader agreements.

“The resignation of Shtayyeh’s government only makes sense if it comes within the context of national consensus on arrangements for the next phase,” he told Reuters.

During the Munich conference, when asked about the PA's cooperation with Hamas, Shtayyeh responded: “One should not continue focusing on October 7.”

He also refused to answer a question about possible reforms to the PA being requested by the United States and several Arab nations.

“It’s not about reform, it’s not about anything. It’s about Palestinians wanting an end to occupation,” he stated.

Shtayyeh has served as the PA's prime minister since 2019. His rumored successor, Muhammad Mustafa, is seen as close to Abbas and has been serving as his financial advisor.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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