Abbas accepts prime minister's resignation

June 23, 2013 at 7:21 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, June 23 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation Sunday of his newly appointed prime minister, officials said.

Abbas asked Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to remain in the position until a successor is appointed, an Abbas spokesman told Ma'an News Agency.

The move came after the two met in Ramallah.

Hamdallah, the former president of Al-Najah University in Nablus, announced he was stepping down from the position Thursday.

Attempts by Abbas to dissuade him from the move failed.

Hamdallah's decision appears to stem from a power struggle with Abbas deputies Mohamed Mustafa and Ziad Abu-Amr, as well as the refusal by Abbas to grant him more authority, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

"Hamdallah discovered that the Palestinian Authority president wants him to serve as a yes-man with no powers," a source told The Jerusalem Post.

Hamdallah was appointed prime minister June 2. Days after his appointment, a new government was sworn in, but Hamdallah made it clear he would step aside in the summer if the formation of a national unity government occurs between Fatah and Hamas, Ma'an said

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