A Palestinian mayor was forced to resign Saturday after facing public criticism for participating in a conference with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv.
Hamdallah Hamdallah, mayor of the West Bank town of Anabta, was one of some 20 Palestinian Authority officials to attend Friday’s gathering to express support for the two-state solution and opposition to the peace plan unveiled last month by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Israeli officials at the conference, titled “yes to peace, no to annexation,” were mainly left-wing ex-politicians and Arab Israeli public figures.
Following reports in Israeli media about the conference, many Palestinians opposed to “normalization” with the Jewish state protested against Hamdallah on social media.
مسؤولون في السلطة يشاركون بما يسمى "برلمان السلام" التطبيعي في تل أبيب من بينهم: الوزير السابق أشرف العجرمي.
الوزير السابق فتحي أبو مغلي.
الوزير السابق حسين الأعرج.
حمد الله الحمد الله رئيس بلدية عنبتا.
منيف طريش عضو بلدية البيرة.
إلياس زنانيري نائب رئيس لجنة التطبيع مع الاحتلال. pic.twitter.com/3plpLyZbKT
— شبكة فلسطين للحوار (@paldf) February 14, 2020
Hamdallah and other officials said they had participated at the invitation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.
In a lengthy Facebook post Saturday, Hamdallah explained that he had taken part in the conference as a Fatah member rather than as Anabta mayor, but concluded that “because I am the son of this beautiful country, which I love from the bottom of the heart… I leave it to the people of my town to choose someone else to lead the municipality.”
“I am tired, not from work but from quarrels and nonsense, and I am leaving this burden for anyone who can carry it.”
Hamdallah was the mayor of Anabta, a town near Tulkarem in the northwestern West Bank, between 1997 and 2005 and again from 2016 until his resignation Saturday.