Palestinian President Abbas accepts resignation of PM
Updated 14:53, 30-Jan-2019

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted on Tuesday the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the presidential office said in a press statement.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Abbas accepted the resignation of Hamdallah and agreed to keep his Palestinian Authority (PA) consensus government running until the formation of the new government.

The report also said that Abbas will start consultations and contacts on the formation of the new government that will comprise factions of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a recommendation put forward by his Fatah faction at a meeting he chaired two days ago. 

The mission of the new government is to prepare for holding the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian government officially submitted its resignation to President Abbas on Tuesday.

Hamas condemned the government's resignation, saying Abbas was seeking to establish a "separatist government" to serve his interests.

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah headed the national unity government formed in 2014 and led the West Bank-based Fatah's reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The two groups signed a reconciliation deal two years ago which set in motion a plan for Abbas's Palestinian Authority to resume governing in Gaza and take up control of the coastal enclave's crossing points into Egypt and Israel.

But disputes over power-sharing and disagreements over policy towards Israel have hampered the deal's implementation.

(With inputs from agencies)