Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns Amid Gaza Conflict for Unity Talks

Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns Amid Gaza Conflict for Unity Talks

RAMALLAH - On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced his resignation, aiming to pave the way for broader consensus among Palestinians regarding political arrangements following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Shtayyeh, an academic economist who assumed office in 2019, emphasized the need for a comprehensive understanding of the evolving situation in Gaza, which has endured extensive damage during nearly five months of intense fighting.

The decision to step down comes amidst mounting pressure from the United States on President Mahmoud Abbas to reform the Palestinian Authority (PA), particularly as international efforts intensify to halt the violence in Gaza and establish a viable political framework for governance in the aftermath of the conflict. Shtayyeh's resignation remains subject to approval by Abbas, who may request him to continue in a caretaker capacity until a permanent successor is appointed.

In his statement to the cabinet, Shtayyeh underscored the necessity for new governmental and political structures that acknowledge the shifting dynamics in Gaza, ongoing national unity discussions, and the urgent imperative of achieving consensus among Palestinians. This next phase, he emphasized, would entail extending the Authority's jurisdiction over the entirety of Palestine.

Established three decades ago under the interim Oslo peace accords, the Palestinian Authority currently exercises limited control over parts of the occupied West Bank but lost its authority in Gaza following a protracted conflict with Hamas in 2007. Efforts have been underway between Fatah, the faction governing the PA, and Hamas to reach an agreement on forming a unity government, with discussions scheduled in Moscow for Wednesday.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri stressed that Shtayyeh's resignation must align with a broader national consensus regarding the future governance arrangements. He emphasized the importance of reaching agreement on governance structures for Palestinians as a whole.

Israel, meanwhile, has reiterated its commitment to dismantling Hamas and has expressed opposition to Palestinian Authority rule over Gaza post-conflict, citing security concerns. The conflict erupted after a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in casualties among Israelis and foreigners. According to Israeli estimates, approximately 1,200 individuals were killed in the attack.

According to Palestinian health authorities, nearly 30,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the Gaza conflict, with a vast majority displaced from their homes.

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