First Published: 2013-04-06


Abbas warns Fayyad: Bring back Nabil Qassis or face dismissal


Palestinian president may fire Prime Minister as party criticises premier's government as being ‘improvised and confused.’


Middle East Online

Cause of disagreement: Resignation of Finance Minister

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas may fire Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a Fatah member said, as the party criticised the premier's government as being "improvised and confused."

Abbas "is leaning towards dismissing Fayyad from the head of the government and forming a new one," a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council said late on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"I am angrier than all of you at the government... but I don't want to say more than that now. Just wait for three days," he quoted Abbas as saying at a meeting of the council in Ramallah.

He said the key factor was disagreement over the resignation of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's Finance Minister, which Abbas refused to accept but which Fayyad, a US-educated economist, agreed to.

Nabil Qassis, a former president of the Bir Zeit University near Ramallah who joined the government in May 2012, announced on March 2 that he was resigning, without giving a reason. Abbas was abroad at the time.

"Abbas informed Fayyad that if Nabil Qassis did not return to the finance ministry... Abbas would dismiss his government and form a new one," the official said.

The Revolutionary Council -- one of the secular Fatah's governing bodies -- also officially criticised Fayyad's government for the first time on Friday.

"The policies of the current Palestinian government are improvised and confused in many issues of finance and the economy," it said in a statement.

Fayyad, 61, a political independent and former International Monetary Fund and World Bank official, was first appointed Palestinian Prime Minister amid the deadly takeover by the Islamist Hamas of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Hamas has never recognised his authority, continuing instead to recognise its own Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya.

Rumours have been rife in Ramallah that Fayyad is on the way out because of differences with the Fatah leadership.

The Palestinian Authority is facing chronic budget difficulties labelled by ministers as "the worst financial crisis" since its creation in 1994.

The Palestinian fiscal crisis is aggravated by non-payment of aid pledged by global donors, mainly the United States and Arab nations, and tensions with Israel.

Fayyad spent three days in hospital this week being treated for pancreatic inflammation. He was discharged late on Wednesday after undergoing treatment and returned home to rest, a medic close to the premier said.


Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: ‘we will completely destroy’ Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

Iraq forces press Mosul assault

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears