The Palestinian national unity government formed last year to heal a split between President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has resigned, officials say.
Senior Palestinian officials say President Abbas has now tasked Premier Rami Hamdallah to form a new government.
Nimr Hammad, an adviser to Abbas said Wednesday that discussions to form a new government would include consultations with the various Palestinian political parties and factions. "Hamdallah handed his resignation to Abbas and Abbas ordered him to form a new government," media outlets quoted Hammad as saying.
Amin Maqbul, the secretary general of the Revolutionary Council, which serves as Fatah’s legislative body, had earlier noted that the first Palestinian unity government was stepping down due to its inability to exert authority in the besieged and war-torn Gaza Strip. “The government will resign in the next 24 hours because this one is weak and there is no chance that Hamas will allow it to work in Gaza."
Reacting to remarks by senior Fatah officials, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has strongly rejected the decision by Ramallah-based Fatah political party to unilaterally dissolve the government.
"Hamas rejects any one-sided change in the government without the agreement of all parties," Zuhri said on early Wednesday, adding, "No one told us anything about any decision to change and no one consulted with us about any change in the unity government. Fatah acted on its own in all regards."
The two leading Palestinian political parties agreed to end their disputes and reconcile in late April 2014. The reconciliation irritated the Israeli regime which responded by ending the so-called peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006. The disagreement marginalized Hamas governance to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip. Fatah, meanwhile, set up headquarters in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank.