Palestinian PM Shtayyeh submits resignation 

RAMALLAH/TEL AVIV — The prime minister of the Palestinian Territories, Mohammad Shtayyeh (picture), handed in his resignation in Ramallah on Monday, reported German news agency (dpa).

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly requested the resignation following pressure from Arab countries in the region and the United States, according to a report by broadcaster Watan TV, which cited government officials.

The move is seen as a step towards achieving peace in the Middle East by reforming the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern Gaza once the war is over.

Shtayyeh’s resignation is seen as a rather symbolic step, it was said, as it opens the door to the goal of a two-state solution — although many obstacles remain.

Shtayyeh, who is considered a loyal collaborator of Abbas, has been in power since 2005, and will continue to serve as head of a provisional government. The formation of a new government could take weeks or months.

Its success would primarily depend on whether the war in the Gaza Strip could be ended and an internationally supervised withdrawal of Israeli forces from the coastal area could be achieved.

The Palestinian Authority, under the leadership of Abbas, administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The most important faction within it is the Fatah movement, which is also led by Abbas.

The Palestinian organisation Hamas, which is waging war against Israel in Gaza, is not a member.

According to the US, a fundamentally reformed PA is to administer the Gaza Strip after the end of the Gaza war.

Israel vehemently rejects this plan as it does not want to see either Hamas or a Fatah-led PA as the governing power in Gaza. — BERNAMA-dpa / pic AFP