ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

search

In surprise move, Palestinian leader Abbas ousts 12 West Bank, Gaza governors

PA president gives no explanation for move; committee will reportedly be formed to search for viable replacements

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looking on as he receives Palestinian athletes in Ramallah in the West Bank on August 4, 2023. (Wissam Khalifa/PPO/AFP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looking on as he receives Palestinian athletes in Ramallah in the West Bank on August 4, 2023. (Wissam Khalifa/PPO/AFP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday ordered the removal of 12 out of the 16 regional governors in the West Bank and Gaza.

Among those ordered to “retire” are the governors of northern Gaza, Gaza City, Khan Younis, and Rafah in the Gaza Strip, according to the official Wafa news agency. These roles are symbolic and lack authority, since the Fatah-controlled PA was violently booted from the coastal enclave in 2007 by the Hamas terror group, which has ruled there ever since.

In the West Bank, he ordered the removal of the governors of Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tubas and Jericho.

No reason was given for the political upheaval, but the report said Abbas ordered the creation of a presidential committee to find suitable candidates to take over the positions.

Observers have warned that the PA is close to financial collapse, and with the deeply unpopular government increasingly losing control of security in certain areas.

In July, rival Palestinian political leaders meeting in Egypt decided to form a committee on intra-Palestinian reconciliation, a move that one analyst doubted would end their 17-year rift.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas leads a meeting of reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas in Egypt on July 30, 2023. (WAFA video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met for rare face-to-face talks in the coastal city of El Alamein along with representatives of most Palestinian political factions.

The latest attempt at reconciliation aims to bridge the gap between the parallel governments of Hamas in Gaza and of the PA in the West Bank.

Abbas and Haniyeh were joined by the heads of other factions, except for Islamic Jihad and two other minor groups.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is said to be refusing to sign off on economic measures to prop up the PA, despite Israeli commitments to the United States.

Channel 12 reported Monday that the Religious Zionism chairman is adamant in his opposition to an Israeli agreement to delay the payment of PA tax debts, which total approximately $500 million. The report added that the finance minister will likely refuse to approve any other move intended to assist the PA.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.