Palestinian prime minister submits government’s resignation to President Abbas

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced Monday that he submitted his government’s resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas.

‘I submitted the government’s resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on February 20, 2024, and today I submit it in writing,’ Shtayyeh said at a news conference via the Palestinian News & Info Agency.

Abbas must still decide whether to accept Shtayyeh and his government’s resignation, but the move signals a willingness by the Western-backed Palestinian leadership to accept a shake-up that could lead to reforms viewed as necessary to revitalize the Palestinian Authority.

The U.S. seeks a reformed Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza once the war between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists is over.

The prime minister said this decision ‘comes in light of the political, security, and economic developments related to the aggression against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank, including the city of Jerusalem.’

‘It comes in light of what Palestinian people, our Palestinian cause, and our political system are facing from a ferocious and unprecedented attack, genocide, attempts at forced displacement, starvation in Gaza, intensification of colonialism, colonizers’ terrorism, and repeated invasions of camps, villages, and cities in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Its re-occupation, unprecedented financial strangulation, attempts to liquidate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees, repudiation of all signed agreements, gradual annexation of Palestinian lands, and striving to make the Palestinian National Authority a security administrative authority with no political content,’ Shtayyeh said.

‘We will remain in confrontation with the occupation, and the Palestinian Authority will continue to struggle to establish the state on the lands of Palestine,’ he added.

Shtayyeh said his government has worked in complicated circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and its economic repercussions on Palestinian people, and the conflict with Israel, which he describes as a genocide against Palestinian people in Gaza.

‘In the midst of all this, the government was able to achieve a balance between meeting the needs of our people, and the requirements of providing services worthy of them, such as infrastructure, legislation, reform programs, civil peace, municipal elections, chambers of commerce, and so on – and preserving our political and national rights, and protecting them, confronting settlement, supporting the confrontation areas and Area C, and internationalizing the conflict with the occupation,’ he said.

The prime minister added that five years have passed since the formation of his government and that it is a ‘political and professional government that includes a number of political partners and independents, including five ministers from Gaza.’

Shtayyeh concluded by explaining his reasoning for offering his resignation.

‘Accordingly, I see that the next stage and its challenges 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 based on a national basis, broad participation, unity of ranks, and the extension of the Palestinian Authority’s sovereignty over the entire land of Palestine,’ he said.

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