Abbas: Palestinian unity government will resign in 24 hours
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Abbas: Palestinian unity government will resign in 24 hours

PA president makes announcement at Fatah meeting, official says; spokesman denies government set to dissolve

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (R) is sworn in along with the new Palestinian unity government in the presence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas (L) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, June 2, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (R) is sworn in along with the new Palestinian unity government in the presence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas (L) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, June 2, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Tuesday that the Ramallah-based government would resign within the next 24 hours, several senior Fatah officials told AFP.

“Within 24 hours the Palestinian government will resign,” Abbas told members of the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah movement in Ramallah, according to several officials who attended the meeting.

Government officials did not confirm the planned resignation, but did acknowledge that such a move has been under discussion for several months over the cabinet’s inability to operate in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Such a move would deal a heavy blow to a Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 which sought to end seven years of bad blood between Abbas’s Fatah movement and its rival, the Islamist Hamas terror group.

Earlier, the Council’s secretary general had told AFP that the government would step down within 24 hours over its inability to act in Gaza.

“The government will resign in the next 24 hours because this one is weak and there is no chance that Hamas will allow it to work in Gaza,” said secretary general Amin Maqbul.

But Ihab Bseiso, spokesman for the consensus government, told AFP he was unaware of the matter.

“We had a meeting today and we didn’t discuss this issue,” he said.

An official in the president’s office said Abbas would meet prime minister Rami Hamdallah at midday (0900 GMT) on Wednesday.

The government was formed last year before the war between the Islamic terrorist group Hamas and Israel. It came after years of feuding between the rival Palestinian groups.

But the government did not function well and the sides have argued over how to carry out reconstruction of the war-battered Gaza Strip and other issues.

Hamas violently seized Gaza from Abbas forces in 2007, leaving him governing just parts of the West Bank.

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