The Ramallah-based Palestinian government of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah offered its resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, two days after rival factions Hamas and Fatah reached a reconciliation deal under which a national unity government will be formed within weeks.
"Out of a desire to complete the reconciliation process, I place my and my government's resignation in your Excellency's hands whenever you wish," read a letter from the premier to Abbas, cited by the official Wafa news agency.
On Thursday, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that the Palestinian governments in Gaza and Ramallah – thanks to Wednesday's reconciliation deal – had become mere "caretaker governments."
The PLO added that all Palestinian factions had agreed that Abbas should serve as president of a Palestinian national unity government.
On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement aimed at ending years of division between them. The deal, welcomed by most Arab states, calls for the formation of a national unity government to pave the way for presidential and parliamentary polls.
Relations between Fatah and Hamas have remained tense since the latter seized control of the Gaza Strip following deadly clashes with pro-Fatah forces in 2007 – one year after Hamas defeated Fatah in Palestinian legislative polls.
In Tel Aviv, however, news of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement received a cold reception.
Commenting on the deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Abbas, who heads Fatah, had to choose between reconciliation with Hamas – which Israel calls a "terrorist organization" – and peace with the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
Source: World Bulletin