Palestinian government resigns

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah talking to the press during a visit to the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar, in the occupied West Bank. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 January 2019
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Palestinian government resigns

  • Cabinet to continue functioning until new administration is formed
  • Hamdallah had offered to resign Monday, after the central committee of Abbas's Fatah movement recommended the formation of a new government

AMMAN: Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday announced the government’s resignation.

Government spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud told Arab News that the Cabinet will continue carrying out its responsibilities until a new government is formed, though he said he could not predict how long that would take. 

The Palestinian Legislative Council was dissolved in December 2018, and legislative elections were ordered by the Constitutional Court within six months. No mention has been made of presidential elections.

Oraib Rantawi, a columnist with the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour, told Arab News: “While many blame Hamdallah for not accomplishing reconciliation (with Hamas), which was in the hands of President (Mahmoud) Abbas, his big failure was in how he handled the social security debacle, which led to four months of demonstrations and protests.”

Abbas signed a presidential decree on Monday suspending the controversial Social Security Law.

Suheil Khoury, a member of the politburo of the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine, and its representative in Jordan, told Arab News that his faction “won’t participate in a government that will further increase divisions within Palestinian society.”

Hani Al-Masri, head of the Masarat think tank in Ramallah, said he opposes the establishment of a new government without elections. 

Abbas “is responsible for everything while the government is merely an executive arm of the president,” Al-Masri said.


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 32 min 38 sec ago
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Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.