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Palestinian Authority economic minister resigns

April 1, 2015 at 10:31 am

Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Economy and Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa tendered his resignation on Tuesday to the PA’s unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Hamdallah accepted the resignation, which has been presented to President Mahmoud Abbas for approval.

Anadolu news agency reported a close aide to Mustafa saying the Deputy PM tendered his resignation during the weekly government meeting. According to the source, the decision was related to a personal matter.

Mustafa also served as deputy PM in the Palestinian unity government formed in June last year, which was the 17th Palestinian government. He also served as deputy PM for economic affairs in both the 15th and 16th governments.

In the unity government, he served as the head of the permanent economic committee and was in charge of coordinating economic reform and development across the Palestinian Territories, as well as dealing with PA financial policy.

In a statement from his office in the Ministry of Economy, he thanked the PA for giving him the chance to serve Palestine and the Palestinian people. He also pledged to continue to assist.

Following the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip over the summer, Mustafa headed a committee responsible for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

He also chairs the Palestinian Investment Fund, an independent investment company which was established in 2003 through PA and international funding. Mustafa was previously the fund’s CEO.

Prior to the government meeting, Mustafa said he would ask the government to waive the fuel of the Gaza Electricity Plant from taxes, but the government decided to keep the taxes. He also pledged to bring changes to the economic situation in Gaza.

Sources said the discussion over Gaza caused a row during the government meeting, when the minister announced his resignation. Monitors believe that this is the reason behind his resignation.