Abbas Purges His Government of Anyone Who Might Disagree with Him
The Palestinian government officially submitted its resignation to president Mahmud Abbas Tuesday, a statement said, though it will remain in place while a new administration is formed.
Analysts see the change in government as an attempt by Abbas to strengthen his position and further isolate his political rivals Hamas as a decade-long split in Palestinian politics deepens.
“The government of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted on Tuesday its resignation to President Mahmud Abbas,” official news agency Wafa said in English following a cabinet meeting.
The government “will continue to serve our people wherever they are and shoulder all its responsibilities until a new government is formed,” it added.
Hamdallah had offered to resign Monday, after the central committee of Abbas’s Fatah movement recommended the formation of a new government that would comprise members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
The Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, is not part of the PLO.
Hamas condemned the government’s resignation, saying Abbas was seeking to establish a “separatist government” to serve his interests.
It’s somewhat funny that this is barely news. The cabinet doesn’t make many decisions — it mostly issues statements every week congratulating itself and condemning Israel for various things.
But the real story here is that Mahmoud Abbas is trying to get rid of the slightest possibility of any independent thinking in the Palestinian government.
He already dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council last month, using a “Supreme Court” that only had members that he appointed and seems to have never done anything else.
The cabinet is mostly comprised of independents, as opposed to Fatah members. The prime minister has been associated with Fatah but has been reported to be an independent, and was the head of a university before taking this job. Fatah, led by Abbas, wanted to make sure that no one could oppose Abbas even theoretically, even though the cabinet has been a rubber stamp for Abbas since it was formed in 2013.
This is not about Hamas, which is not part of the cabinet. This is about Abbas being the one and only decision-maker in Palestinian politics. Still, the Western media insists on portraying him as a moderate, democrat, and peacemaker.
Elder of Ziyon has been blogging about Israel and the Arab world for a really long time now. He also controls the world, but deep down, you already knew that.