JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation again Wednesday, as he's done several times since assuming office in the spring of 2007.
According to media reports, the relationship between Fayyad and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be on a downhill slope.
A former member of the International Monetary Fund, Fayyad has always been popular in the West, especially the U.S.
"Fayyad's departure would have a serious impact on relations with the international community," YNet quoted a senior diplomat in Jerusalem, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It is hard to overstate how important Fayyad has been," he said, adding that Israeli leaders also trusted him.
According to the report, the strained relationship between Abbas and Fayyad took a turn for the worse in March when Fayyad accepted the resignation of his finance minister, reportedly sparking a reprimand from the Fatah council.
"The policies of the current government are improvised and confused in many financial and economic issues," the council reportedly said last week.
A look back
Fayyad began serving as prime minister in June 2007, when Abbas appointed him to replace Gaza-based Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.
While most people refer to Abbas as president and Fayyad as prime minister, the fact is both reside over an "emergency government," formed after a bloody military coup left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip.
Following the coup, which took less than a week, Abbas dissolved the nascent unity government and deposed Haniyeh, whom he'd appointed three months earlier in March.
The short-lived reconciliation between the two factions began under the auspices of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who persuaded both parties to come to Mecca to talk through their differences. (Abbas was elected president in January 2005. A year later, Hamas trounced his party in legislative elections, winning 74 seats to Fatah's 45.)
Following the meeting in Mecca, Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government, which lasted until the first week in June when Hamas sent Fatah security forces fleeing for their lives from Gaza.
The horrific events that took place that week -- tying Fatah members' hands behind their backs and pushing them to their deaths from high-rise buildings or shooting fathers in front of their wives and children -- are long since forgotten.
Another rarely mentioned fact is that Abbas' term expired more than four years ago -- on January 9, 2009. Every so often, some Hamas official points that out, but the fact is elections have yet to take place.
The same is true of reconciliation. Besides Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar and Jordan, among other Arab countries, have tried to mediate reconciliation. In April 2011, they announced it had been achieved. At a press conference in Cairo, leaders from both sides smiled, kissed and shook hands. In February 2012, then exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal signed an agreement with Abbas in Doha, with elections to be held later that year. They never were.
Whether Abbas will accept Fayyad's latest resignation is yet unknown. But one thing seems apparent. Until the Palestinian Authority stabilizes, it's hard to imagine the so-called two-state solution.