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War on Gaza: Palestinian PM Shtayyeh resigns to 'allow for a Palestinian consensus'

Mohammad Shtayyeh calls for the extension of PA sovereignty over the entire land of Palestine
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh holds a cabinet meeting in Ramallah on 26 February during which he announced his resignation (Zain Jaafar/AFP).

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh submitted his resignation on Monday to allow the formation of an "inter-Palestinian consensus" on governance after Israel's war on Gaza ends. 

Shtayyeh said his resignation was in view of the escalation in violence in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the war in the Gaza Strip, and the political, security, and economic fallout of Israel's aggression against Palestinians. 

"It comes in light of what Palestinian people, our Palestinian cause, and our political system are facing from a ferocious and unprecedented attack, genocide, attempts at forced displacement, starvation in Gaza, intensification of colonialism, colonisers’ terrorism, and repeated invasions of camps, villages, and cities," Shtayyeh said during a cabinet session in Ramallah.

The resignation of the government in the West Bank comes amid mounting pressure from the United States and other countries on the Palestinian Authority to enact internal reforms and devise a political plan for the governance of Gaza after the war.

The prime minister said the next phase in Palestinian politics must consider the emerging situation in Gaza after months of unrelenting Israeli bombardment and ground invasion.

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"The next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political measures that take into account the new reality in the Gaza Strip and the national unity talks," said Shtayyeh.

He called for inter-Palestinian consensus and the "extension of the (Palestinian) Authority's rule over the entire land of Palestine".

Shtayyeh, a former economist and academic, took office in March 2019. His resignation must still be accepted by President Abbas who might ask him to remain as caretaker until a permanent replacement has been appointed.

The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) has limited governance over parts of the West Bank since the interim Oslo peace accords 30 years ago. In 2007, Fatah lost control over Gaza following a struggle with Hamas.

Fatah and Hamas are due to meet in Moscow on Wednesday amid efforts to reach an agreement over a unity government.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and said that it will not accept PA rule over the Gaza Strip after the war, which broke out following a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on 7 October that killed 1,140 mostly Israelis.

Israel's war on Gaza has so far killed more than 29,700 Palestinians and wounded over 70,000 others.

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