Fayyad jumps over Abbas row

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is reported to have jumped before he was pushed, in a move that adds fresh doubt over the Palestinian "partner for peace", Fatah

by The Commentator on 11 April 2013 12:03


Last month The Commentator reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was due to sack his Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, over a long-standing row over the finance ministry and the delineation of power between the two.

Reuters reports that today, Fayyad appears to have jumped before he was pushed, offering his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday following a rift between the two men over government policy.

A spokeswoman at Fayyad's office declined to comment on the reports, which followed persistent rumors that Abbas wanted to sack Fayyad following internal political wrangling.

A 'sharp dispute' erupted between Abbas and Fayyad over the resignation of Finance Minister Nabil Qassis earlier this year. 

Qassis had decided to quit the Palestinian Authority government – a move that was rejected by Abbas. Qassis was Abbas’s choice for finance minister – a job that Fayyad held for the past four years. A few days later, however, Fayyad, in a surprise move, announced that he had accepted Qassis’s resignation. Fayyad’s announcement was seen by Palestinians as a direct challenge to Abbas.

A few weeks passed, and US President Barack Obama visited Israel and the West Bank, declaring that Israel has true partners for peace in the pair. 

Fatah leaders in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have severely criticised Fayyad's policies. "He wants to tear Fatah to pieces," member of Fatah's executive committee in the West Bank, Tawfiq al-Terawi, wrote on his Facebook page in March.

Initially successful in revitalising a sluggish Palestinian economy, Fayyad ran into trouble last year when Israel and the United States withheld vital funds to punish the Palestinians for seeking de facto statehood at the United Nations.

It has been reported that Abbas reportedly stopped talking to Fayyad in April 2012 after Fayyad refused to deliver a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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