Palestinian Authority PM Retracts Intention to Step Down

Rami Hamdallah / AP

Update, 1:50 PM June 21: After abruptly announcing his resignation, Hamdallah abruptly retracted his resignation, according to Haaretz.


Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah abruptly announced his resignation on Thursday, after just two weeks on the job, Reuters reported. The shakeup comes just one week before President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry:

The official told Reuters Hamdallah made the abrupt, unexpected move because of a "dispute over his powers."

A note on Hamdallah's Facebook page said his decision came after "outside interferences in his powers and duties."

His cabinet consists overwhelmingly of members of the Fatah faction led by Abbas and political commentators had immediately questioned how much leeway he would have to maneuver.

Hamdallah's predecessor, American-educated economist Salam Fayyad, resigned in April after six years in power defined by tough economic challenges and rivalries with Fatah politicians eager to control the levers of power.

Hamdallah’s predecessor Salam Fayyad, considered a reformer by the West, stepped down after Hamas objected to him becoming prime minister of a Fatah-Hamas unity government.

The details surrounding Hamdallah’s resignation are still unclear, but the Tower reports that the new prime minister had power clashes with Abbas’s deputies. One source told the Tower that an annoyed Hamdallah called Abbas from his car to offer his resignation.