Palestinian politics can be cryptic at the best of times, but in recent days it seems to have been launched to a new level in perplexing all of its observers. First, President Abbas announced last Wednesday that the government would resign within 24 hours, then there were denials, followed by reports that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah handed in his resignation only to be ordered by President Abbas to form a new government. A very upset Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, rejected the one-sided decision claiming the movement’s leadership was not consulted. It was even unclear if the intention in dissolving the government was a cabinet reshuffle, the formation of a new government of national unity with Hamas, or to form a government which would include a wide range of representatives from all political stripes including independents. Still, a week later the mystery of the government’s resignation has not been resolved, and no one knows who is going to be the next prime minister or what political elements will join. According to Ma’an, a Bethlehem based media network, a PA spokesperson Ihab Bseiso stated that “…the national unity government has not yet resigned and will continue for another week until PLO Executive Committee members complete consultations…” This all indicates a political body not only divided geographically and ideologically, but also in complete disarray.
The end of the war left both Israel and the Hamas with a sense of victory but paradoxically also exposed both sides’ vulnerabilitiesYossi Mekelberg