A report in this morning’s edition of Israeli daily Makor Rishon claims that Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has offered his resignation. Fayyad is formerly a prominent economist and had been credited by many in the West with having successfully steered the Palestinian economy in the West Bank since his appointment as Prime Minister in 2007. However, the economic situation in the West Bank has seriously deteriorated over the past few months, which led to significant protests in September, with criticism focused largely against Fayyad.
The Makor Rishon report claims that Fayyad has offered his resignation in order to enable the formation of a new, more unified government. The report quotes a Palestinian source saying, “In practice, Fayyad submitted an action plan for a new government, which will be comprised of party representatives so that it might address problems facing Palestinian society, first and foremost the economic crisis.”
However, representatives of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ office denied that Fayyad had resigned, telling the Wafa news agency “the reports about Fayyad’s resignation have no factual basis.” Meanwhile, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, Wasel Abu Yousef, said that Fayyad had not intended to resign, but that “during the last meeting a few days ago there was discussion about forming a government of factions.” Fayyad has resigned his position before. He quit in March 2009 but was re-appointed just two months later after Abbas refused to accept his resignation.