The Palestinian Authority “now you see him, now you don’t” prime minister finally got his way Sunday when PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas accepted his resignation, two days after Rami Hamdallah reportedly retracted his “I quit” Tweet.
Hamdallah, was president of the Al-Najah University in Shechem, was not happy being a figurehead, carrying responsibility without authority.
After less than three weeks since accepting the appointment, he saw the handwriting on the wall and quit last Thursday because of an argument with two of his deputies whom he had appointed.
Abbas met with all Hamdallah and the deputies on Saturday, causing reports that the prime minister agreed to stay on the job. Abbas’ failure to settle the rift left him no choice other than to accept the resignation, the second prime minister to resign in three months.
Salam Fayyad was at constant odds with Abbas and resigned in mid-April following the PA finance minister’s resignation, which Fayyad accepted but Abbas did not.
Fayyad was virtually hand-picked several years ago by the United States, where he learned and worked as an economist.
Fayyad added a bit of polish to Abbas’ crude but effective diplomatic war against Israel, which in his mind was so successful that he could thumb his nose at the Obama administration and put the final nail in the coffin of the American government’s international golden calf, otherwise known as the peace process.
Now Abbas has lost a university president as prime minister, on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State John Kelly’s fifth visit to Israel since taking office earlier this year.
So what did the folks at the State Dept. have to say about last week’s resignation?
It trusts the Palestinian Authority’s tremendous democracy, where Abbas has been serving beyond his designated term for five years with no signs of elections.
”We have a longstanding commitment to support Palestinian institution-building. And whatever happens, it’s important that the Palestinian Authority government remain committed to that effort of institution-building,” said State Dept. spokesman Patrick Ventrell.