New Palestinian PM Resigns over 'Dispute over His Powers'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Newly appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted his resignation just two weeks after being sworn in.

According to Reuters, a "dispute over his powers" played a key role in Hamdallah's decision.

Hamdallah, an English professor, served as dean of An-Najah University in Nablus since 1998 and as secretary-general of the Palestinian Central Elections Committee. He had zero political experience and no obvious connection to any political party.

When P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Hamdallah's appointment at the beginning of June, speculation was that Abbas wanted a weak prime minister to replace outgoing acting Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who resigned in April.

According to political analyst Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas wanted someone who would not oppose him.

"As long as Fayyad was prime minister, it was almost impossible for Abbas and Fatah to lay their hands on the hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid," Toameh wrote. "Unlike Fayyad, Hamdallah will serve as the obedient and faithful servant of Abbas, as well as the Fatah and PLO leadership."

Whether Abbas will accept Hamdallah's resignation is yet unknown.

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