Palestinian prime minister resigns, says he’s making way for next stage of governing Gaza

Key Points
  • Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh offered his resignation on Monday.
  • He said the move will allow Palestinians to determine political arrangements following the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza.
  • It comes amid international efforts to begin work on a political structure to govern the enclave after the war.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh says he will resign to allow for the formation of a broad consensus among Palestinians about political arrangements following .
The move comes amid growing United States pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas to shake up the Palestinian Authority (PA) as international efforts have intensified to stop the fighting in Gaza and begin work on a political structure to govern the enclave after the war.

Abbas accepted Shtayyeh’s resignation and asked him to stay on as caretaker until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Significance of Shtayyeh’s resignation and his successor

The Palestinian Authority, created about 30 years ago as part of the interim Oslo peace accords, has been badly undermined by accusations of ineffectiveness and corruption and the prime minister holds little effective power.
But Shtayyeh’s departure marks a symbolic shift that underlines Abbas’ determination to ensure the Authority maintains its claim to leadership as international pressure grows for a revival of efforts to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

In a statement to cabinet, Shtayyeh, an academic economist who took office in 2019, said the next administration would need to take account of the emerging reality in Gaza, which has been laid waste by nearly five months of heavy fighting.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted Mohammad Shtayyeh’s resignation. Source: Getty / Picture Alliance

He said the next stage would “require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the emerging reality in the Gaza Strip, the national unity talks, and the urgent need for an inter-Palestinian consensus”.

In addition, it would require “the extension of the Authority’s authority over the entire land, Palestine”.

No successor has been appointed but Abbas is widely expected to name Mohammad Mustafa, a former World Bank official who is chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) with experience of rebuilding Gaza after a previous war in 2014. There has been no word on elections, which have not been held since 2006.

What is the Palestinian Authority?

The Palestinian Authority exercises limited governance over parts of the West Bank but lost power in Gaza following a struggle with Hamas in 2007.
The West Bank is under the control of the PA but considered occupied by Israel under international law.

PA has been badly weakened over the years and surveys show it is deeply unpopular among Palestinians. But it remains the only leadership body generally recognised by the international community.

Palestinian leaders say its ability to exercise effective governance has been effectively blocked by Israeli restrictions, which have included withholding tax revenues due under the Oslo accords. For months, the Authority has been unable to pay full public sector salaries because of a row over the refusal by the Israeli finance ministry to release part of the funds.

Fatah, the faction that controls the PA, and Hamas have made efforts to reach an agreement over a unity government and are due to meet in Moscow on Wednesday.

Israel has vowed to and says that for security reasons, ver Gaza after the war, which broke out following a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on 7 October, which killed some 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, according to Israeli tallies.
So far, almost , according to Palestinian health authorities, and almost the entire population has been driven from their homes.

Source link