Why America’s Man in Ramallah Quit
The public gloss on Fayyad’s departure, set for the end of this month, is that it would pave the way for a new Hamas-Fatah unity government. Talks between the rival Palestinian factions began in earnest on Tuesday in Cairo, and according to Palestinian officials involved in the talks, the Egyptians, at Washington’s behest, may be trying to reposition Fayyad for a comeback. It won’t be easy; Hamas had long made clear that it did not recognize Fayyad’s legitimacy as Prime Minister. Fayyad, a former Finance Minister, was appointed Prime Minister in 2007 of a West Bank-based emergency government by President Mahmoud Abbas, in a bid to outflank Hamas. The Islamists hold a majority in the Palestinian parliament, but many legislators were placed under Israeli arrest, preventing the legislature from sitting. But Hamas wasn’t Fayyad’s only problem.
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