The Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has announced he will step down at the end of this month.
His decision could help bolster unity talks between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions. But the move has not reportedly been welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has asked Fayyad to continue until results emerge from the Egyptian sponsored talks. Hamas leaders meanwhile have greeted the news as a step towards restoring what they call normal relations. Ayman Taha said: “For us, Salam Fayyad’s presence as head of the government is illegitimate, so his resignation will put things back to how they should be.” Other Hamas figures say they believe his decision to quit is based on “internal and personal differences” with Abbas. But sources close to Fayyad say the announcement is meant to put pressure on those who will be meeting in Cairo next week.