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PA Prime Minister in Ramallah "tenders resignation"

Reports from occupied Palestine claim that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has offered his ministerial council's resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas. The move, it is alleged by "informed sources", comes amid a longstanding power struggle in the Palestinian Authority. Reuters says that Fayyad's office refused to comment on the claim.

Other sources close to Western-backed Fayyad said that he did not offer his resignation, not least because the law requires the president to be in the country when such a high-level decision is taken. Abbas is on an international tour at the moment and is not due back in Ramallah until Thursday. A report in Jerusalem's Al-Quds newspaper says that the media reports refer to an earlier resignation issue. Nevertheless, as rumours fly back and forth, yet another anonymous source insists that Fayyad, who is favoured by Israel and the West, will submit his resignation when the president is back in Palestine later today (Thursday).

According to Reuters, Fayyad is intent on resigning because of leaks from senior Fatah officials purporting to show that they are against him. "He personally has told a number of Palestinian officials that he is unable to stay in his position," claimed the news agency.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah's Executive Committee, told official Palestinian radio that Abbas is going to meet with Fayyad today to discuss the situation. "The position will be much clearer after that meeting," he added.

The PA President and the Prime Minister have had a lengthy disagreement recently over the dismissal of Finance Minister Nabil Qassis. Fayyad sacked him but was told to reinstate Qassis by President Abbas. "However, Fayyad started to deal with matter as if he is the sole decision-maker," said Mr Al-Ahmad. If Fayyad insists on the minister's dismissal, he pointed out, Abbas will sack the whole government.

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