Report: Palestinian cabinet to resign in wake of Mideast turmoil
Source tells Reuters 'massive change' expected in the composition of President Abbas' government; negotiations to start with Palestinian factions 'immediately.'
The Palestinian cabinet will tender resignations on Monday after which Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will select new ministers at the request of President Mahmoud Abbas, political sources said.
The shake-up, disclosed to Reuters on Sunday, was long demanded by Fayyad and some in Abbas's Fatah faction. It follows the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to a popular revolt that has set off reform calls throughout the Arab world.
"There will be massive change in the composition of the government," one political source said of the planned mass-resignations in Abbas's Palestinian Authority, which was formed under 1993 interim peace deals with Israel.
Another source said: "Dr. Fayyad will immediately start his discussion with the factions to form the cabinet. Some ministers will keep their portfolios."
Bankrolled by international donors and engaged in security coordination with Israel, the Palestinian Authority has a limited mandate in the occupied West Bank. It lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists in a 2007 civil war.
Abbas's credibility has been further sapped by long-stalled negotiations with Israel on an accord founding a Palestinian state. Hamas spurns permanent coexistence with the Jewish state.
Of the 24 posts in Fayyad's cabinet, only 16 are currently staffed. Two ministers resigned and six are marooned in Gaza. Of those present in the cabinet, some face allegations of incompetence.
The Palestinian Authority announced on Saturday it would seek new legislative and presidential elections by September but Hamas rejected that call and said it would not take part in the poll, nor recognize the results.