Palestinian PM submits government’s resignation in move that could open door to reforms

Palestinian PM submits government’s resignation in move that could open door to reforms
Palestinian PM submits government’s resignation in move that could open door to reforms

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Palestinian PM submits government’s resignation in move that could open door to reforms in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RAMALLAH — Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Monday his government is resigning, in a move that could open the door to US-backed reforms in the Palestinian Authority.

President Mahmoud Abbas must still decide whether he accepts Shtayyeh and his government's resignation. But the move signals a willingness by the Western-backed Palestinian leadership to accept a shake-up that might usher in reforms seen as necessary to revitalize the Palestinian Authority.

The US wants a reformed Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza once the war is over. But many obstacles remain to making that vision a reality.

“The next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in the Gaza Strip,” Shtayyeh said at a Cabinet meeting.

Abbas is expected to choose Mohammad Mustafa, chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund, as the next prime minister.

The Palestinian government's resignation comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that total victory in the Gaza territory of Rafah would come within weeks once the offensive begins, even if a ceasefire agreement is reached.

Netanyahu confirmed to US broadcaster CBS that a deal is in the works.

Talks resumed Sunday in Qatar at the specialist level, Egypt’s state-run Al Qahera TV reported, citing an Egyptian official as saying discussions would follow in Cairo with the aim of achieving the cease-fire and release of dozens of hostages held in Gaza as well as Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

A senior official from Egypt, which along with Qatar is a mediator between Israel and Hamas, has said the draft ceasefire deal includes the release of up to 40 women and older hostages in return for up to 300 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women, minors and older people.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations, said the proposed six-week pause in fighting would include allowing hundreds of trucks to bring desperately needed aid into Gaza every day, including the north. He said both sides agreed to continue negotiations during the pause for further releases and a permanent cease-fire.

Negotiators face an unofficial deadline of the start of the holy month of Ramadan around 10 March, a period that often sees heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Hamas says it has not been involved in the latest proposal developed by the United States, Egypt and Qatar, but the reported outline largely matches its earlier proposal for the first phase of a truce.

Hamas has said it won't release all of the remaining hostages until Israel ends its offensive and withdraws its forces from the territory, and is demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including senior militants. Netanyahu has rejected those conditions.

Meanwhile, Israel is nearing the approval of plans to expand its offensive against Hamas to Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border, where more than half the besieged territory's population of 2.3 million have sought refuge.

Humanitarian groups warn of a catastrophe as Rafah is Gaza's main entry point for aid.

The US and other allies say Israel must avoid harming civilians.

Netanyahu has said he will convene the Cabinet this week to approve operational plans that include the evacuation of civilians to elsewhere in Gaza.

“Once we begin the Rafah operation, the intense phase of the fighting is weeks away from completion. Not months," Netanyahu told CBS. “If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway.” He said four of the six remaining Hamas battalions are concentrated in Rafah.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told US broadcaster NBC that President Joe Biden hadn't been briefed on the Rafah plan. “We believe that this operation should not go forward until or unless we see (a plan to protect civilians),” Sullivan said.

Early Monday, Netanyahu’s office said the army had presented to the War Cabinet its “operational plan” for Rafah as well as plans to evacuate civilians from the battle zones. It gave no further details.

His office also said the War Cabinet had approved a plan to deliver humanitarian aid safely into Gaza.

United Nations agencies and aid groups say the hostilities, the Israeli military’s refusal to facilitate deliveries and the breakdown of order inside Gaza make it increasingly difficult to get vital aid to much of the coastal enclave. In some chaotic scenes, crowds of desperate Palestinians have surrounded delivery trucks and stolen the supplies off them.

Heavy fighting continued in parts of northern Gaza, the first target of the offensive, where the destruction is staggering.

“We’re trapped, unable to move because of the heavy bombardment," said Gaza City resident Ayman Abu Awad.

He said that starving residents have been forced to eat animal fodder and search for food in demolished buildings. In nearby Jabaliya, market vendor Um Ayad showed off a leafy weed that people pick from the harsh, dry soil and eat.

“We have to feed the children. They keep screaming they want food. We cannot find food. We don’t know what to do,” she said.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the UN agency for Palestinians, said it has not been able to deliver food to northern Gaza since 23 January, adding on X, formerly Twitter, that “our calls to send food aid have been denied."

Israel said that 245 trucks of aid entered Gaza on Sunday — less than half the amount that entered daily before the war.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday made clear that a ceasefire deal for Gaza wouldn't affect the military's daily low-level clashes with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally.

“We will continue the fire, and we will do so independently from the south," he said while visiting the Northern Command.

Israel declared war after the 7 October Hamas attack on southern Israel in which militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 250 hostages. More than 100 hostages were released in a ceasefire deal in November. More than 130 remain in captivity, a fourth of them believed to be dead.

Israel's air and ground offensive has driven around 80% of Gaza's population from their homes, putting hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation and the spread of disease. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza says 29,692 Palestinians have been killed in the war, two-thirds of them women and children.

The ministry's death toll doesn't distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel says its troops have killed more than 10,000 militants, without providing evidence. — Euronews

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