P.A. prime minister submits resignation


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation, which could speed the formation of a Fatah-Hamas unity government.

P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas asked Fayyad after his announcement Saturday to remain in his position until the talks were completed. Fayyad said he would step down with the formation of the new government or by the end of March.

Abbas fired Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and replaced him with Fayyad after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Millions of dollars pledged to the Palestinians last week and last year were donated on the condition that they are funneled through the Fayyad government. It is unclear how his resignation will affect the pledges, according to reports.

Fayyad said of his resignation in a statement Saturday, "This step comes in the efforts to form a national conciliation government." 

Unity talks are scheduled to resume Tuesday in Cairo.

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