Rami Hamdallah steps down as President Mahmud Abbas seeks to form a new government, a move Hamas sees as part of attempts to exclude the group from Palestinian politics.

Rami Hamdallah (L), a little-known academic, headed the national unity government formed in 2014 and led the West Bank-based Fatah's reconciliation efforts with Hamas.
Rami Hamdallah (L), a little-known academic, headed the national unity government formed in 2014 and led the West Bank-based Fatah's reconciliation efforts with Hamas. (Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah has tendered his resignation and that of his unity government to President Mahmoud Abbas, he said on Tuesday, dealing a blow to faltering reconciliation efforts with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new one is formed, it said in a statement issued after a weekly cabinet meeting.

There was no immediate comment from Abbas, but his Fatah faction, at a meeting he chaired two days ago, recommended that the government be replaced. 

A Hamas official condemned the move as an attempt to marginalise and exclude the group from Palestinian politics.

"The announcement of the formation of a new government is a recognition of the tragedies and disasters caused by the government of al Hamdallah, and there is no legitimacy for any future government without national consensus," Sami Abu Zuhri, official spokesman for Hamas, said through his twitter account.

Disagreements

Hamdallah, a little-known academic, headed the national unity government formed in 2014 and led the West Bank-based Fatah's reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which governs Gaza since 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.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies