Palestinian prime minister offers resignation

Palestinian prime minister offers resignation
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019 file photo, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, attends the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, in Beirut, Lebanon. On Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, Hamdallah offered the resignation of his government to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a new step toward ending a failed attempt at reconciling with the rival Hamas movement. Abbas did not immediately act on the resignation offer submitted Tuesday by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday offered the resignation of his government to President Mahmoud Abbas, in a new step toward ending a failed attempt at reconciling with the rival Hamas movement.

Abbas did not immediately act on the resignation offer submitted by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Government spokesman Yousef Mahmoud said the government expressed “its readiness to continue performing its duties until a new government is formed.”

Hamdallah’s government was formed in 2013 as part of a power-sharing agreement with Hamas. But the government has never assumed its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas has ruled since a violent 2007 takeover.

Abbas’ Fatah movement decided earlier this week to replace Hamdallah’s Cabinet of technocrats with a new Fatah-led government.