Palestinian PM willing to quit if president Abbas wishes

Hamdallah’s West Bank-based government welcomed plans for a new government. (AFP pic)

RAMALLAH: Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday offered to resign, his spokesman said, amid efforts by president Mahmud Abbas to form a new government.

Such bids are seen as part of attempts by Abbas to further isolate his political rivals amid a deepening of a decade-long split in Palestinian politics.

Hamdallah has “put his government at the disposal of President Mahmud Abbas,” the prime minister’s spokesman Yussef al-Mahmud said in a statement.

It came after the central committee of Abbas’s Fatah movement recommended late Sunday the formation of a new government that would comprise members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Hamdallah’s West Bank-based government welcomed plans for a new government, his spokesman said.

The Islamist movement Hamas is not part of the PLO.

It seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s forces in a 2007 near-civil war, a year after winning parliamentary elections.

Since then Abbas’s governments have maintained limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, but the split between the two has remained.

In June 2014 Hamdallah formed what was labelled a national unity government after a landmark reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.

The deal has since broken down and the government has no control in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Abbas was elected in 2005 for an initial four-year term but no elections have been held since then due to the Fatah-Hamas split.