Why did the Palestinian government suddenly resign amid the unresolved conflict?

Expert: Due to domestic and foreign pressure, this change will have limited impact on the new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict

  As the new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues to be tense, the Palestinian Prime Minister submitted his resignation.

  According to Xinhua News Agency, citing the Palestinian News Agency, on February 26, Palestinian President Abbas accepted the resignation of the government submitted by Prime Minister Ashtiye.

Abbas asked the Ashtiye government to continue fulfilling its duties until a new government is formed.

  Wang Jin, associate professor at the Institute of Middle East Studies at Northwestern University, told reporters that the resignation of the Palestinian Prime Minister was caused by domestic and foreign pressure. This shows that although the Palestinian National Authority has made certain changes, the impact of these changes on the new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict limited.

To achieve a just and lasting peace between Palestine and Israel, the principle of the "two-state solution" must be implemented.

  "Domestic dissatisfaction, foreign pressure"

  On February 26 this year, Ashtiyeh and his government officially submitted their resignation to Abbas.

When Ashtiye announced his resignation, he said that the reason for his resignation was related to the situation in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

  "As the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, Ashtiye's resignation is indeed a major political event, but it cannot be regarded as a particularly major political upheaval." Wang Jin explained that within the political framework of the Palestinian National Authority, The chairman is the core figure, and the prime minister has relatively weak voice.

Because of this, there have been incidents of rotation of Palestinian prime ministers in the past few years. For example, in 2019, former Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah and his government submitted their resignation to Abbas.

  According to Wang Jin's observation, the resignation of Ashtiyeh and the government he led was due to domestic and foreign pressure.

  In October last year, Hamas launched a large-scale attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Israel launched an unprecedented scale of retaliatory military strikes on the Gaza Strip, and a new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out.

Since then, Palestinian dissatisfaction has grown, and they hope that the Palestinian Authority can take tougher measures to put pressure on Israel.

  “But judging from the bilateral relations between Israel and Palestine, especially the balance of bilateral strength, it is actually difficult for the Palestinian National Authority to exert effective pressure on Israel. Therefore, it may be more at the multilateral level of diplomacy, such as at the United Nations level. Put pressure on." Wang Jin said that in this situation, someone in the Palestinian National Authority needs to take responsibility, and its prime minister has been pushed to the forefront.

  Wang Jin said that changing the prime minister sends a very important signal: on the one hand, it shows that the Palestinian National Authority has felt the growing dissatisfaction of the domestic people, especially the people in the West Bank, and needs to make a certain response; on the other hand, it also shows that The Palestinian National Authority hopes to return to the Gaza Strip and take over local political, economic, security and social affairs, and occupy a more dominant position among the various Palestinian factions.

  External pressure from the United States and other countries is another major reason.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Egypt, Qatar and Israel's ally the United States are mediating for a new humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has proposed that once the new round of conflict ends, the Gaza Strip should be unified with the West Bank and governed by the Palestinian National Authority.

The United States also pressured Abbas to implement "reforms" in the Palestinian National Authority.

  "According to the vision of the United States, the new political system in the Gaza Strip in the future cannot be continued to be dominated by Hamas, which currently controls the Gaza Strip. Instead, the newly reorganized Palestinian Authority will return to the Gaza Strip to manage the political situation." Wang Jin said, in In this context, the Palestinian National Authority needs to make a certain political statement, that is, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority resigns, and may elect a Prime Minister who can better represent the political demands of various Palestinian factions to come to power, and prepare for the possible re-takeover of Gaza in the future. Be prepared for the political and security situation in the region.

  CNN and the New York Times reported that the resignation of Ashtiyeh and his government will be enough to reorganize the Palestinian National Authority, and will it be able to persuade the Israeli authorities to reorganize the Palestinian Authority in the future? The takeover of Gaza by the National Authority is still unknown.

Israel's attitude, at least for now, is to reject the prospect of the Palestinian Authority returning to the Gaza Strip after the war and to dismiss the idea of ​​establishing a Palestinian state there.

  Mustafa is seen as the favorite to be the new prime minister

  The Palestinian Authority, as the Palestinian government is understood by the outside world.

According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on May 12, 1994, according to the resolution of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian National Authority (Palestine National Authority) was established. As a phased and transitional authority, Arafat was elected as chairman.

In November 2004, Arafat died of illness.

Abbas took over as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO and was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority in January 2005. In November 2008, he was elected President of the State of Palestine and has held the position to this day.

  In January 2013, Abbas signed an order to uniformly change the title "Palestinian National Authority" used in regulations, official documents, documents, etc. to "the State of Palestine."

However, the international community still uses the title "Palestinian National Authority".

  Data show that Ashtiyeh, a well-known Palestinian economist, became the Prime Minister of Palestine in 2019, and the government led by him was sworn in in April of that year.

  Who will take over as prime minister after Ashtiye resigns?

Mohammed Mustafa, the current chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, is the most vocal candidate to be nominated as prime minister of the new government.

"Mustafa has two important experiences that meet the requirements of the new prime minister." Wang Jin said.

  In 2007, and especially since 2010, one of the important considerations of the Palestinian Authority when considering candidates for prime minister was the need for technocrats rather than bureaucrats with strong political factional attributes.

Wang Jin pointed out that Mustafa has professional knowledge and rich experience in economic affairs, but his political attributes are weak, so he is a relatively suitable candidate for the new prime minister.

  Mustafa has served as Abbas's economic adviser since 2005 and is considered a member of Abbas's inner circle.

In January this year, Mustafa, as Abbas’s representative, led the Palestinian delegation to attend the Davos Economic Forum.

Mustafa is also chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund and a former economist at the World Bank.

In addition, he led the reconstruction of Gaza after the 2014 Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  Mustafa, meanwhile, maintains good relations with the United States.

In the early days, Mustafa served as an economist at the World Bank and had contact with the financial community in the United States.

"From this perspective, Mustafa can become a more suitable candidate for the next prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority." Wang Jin said.

  However, analysts predict it could take weeks before a new prime minister is announced.

  According to a report by the Palestinian News Agency on the 26th, Abbas asked the Ashtiye government to continue to perform its duties until the new government is established.

Ibrahim Darsha, director of the political analysis organization Horizon Center for Political Research and Media Outreach, said in an interview with the media that Abbas was actually "buying time" by allowing Ashtiyeh to remain as prime minister temporarily.

  Dar'ul Shah pointed out that this approach allows Abbas to send a signal to foreign countries that reforms have begun, while in practice delaying any substantive changes, giving himself more time to convince domestic allies and foreign funders to agree with Muslims. Advantages of Tafa.

 Pakistani government reforms cannot really solve the problem

  "From the current perspective, although the Palestinian National Authority has made certain changes, it may be difficult to completely return to the political situation before 2007." Wang Jin said, "The influence of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank The power is still very strong, and it may not be realistic to completely suppress the opinions among the people through this political means, especially to severely attack Hamas or even completely eliminate Hamas’s political and military network.”

  Public information shows that the Palestinian National Authority, led by Fatah (the main political faction in Palestine), once controlled the Gaza Strip.

Until 2007, a conflict broke out between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, Fatah actually controlled the West Bank, and Palestine fell into division.

Under the mediation of Egypt, Hamas and Fatah reached a reconciliation agreement in 2017, agreeing that the reconciliation government formed by both parties would fully perform its duties in the Gaza Strip.

However, as differences still exist and the agreement has not been effectively implemented, the division has not ended yet.

  From the perspective of the outside world, the prospect of implementing the "two-state solution" between Palestine and Israel can only be envisioned on the basis of consensus within Palestine.

  According to CCTV News, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov previously stated that Moscow looks forward to holding talks between Palestinian factions in the foreseeable future to resolve internal differences within Palestine.

Hamas Politburo member Mohammad Nazar said on February 26 that since there has been no formal communication with the Palestinian Authority on plans for the end of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he will meet with Fatah and other Palestinian factions in Moscow. Have a formal meeting.

  On February 27, local time, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and African Countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov stated that the preparations for the talks between Palestinian factions to be held in Moscow are nearing completion, and all Palestinian factions have agreed to send personnel Attend the meeting.

  Hugh Lovatt, senior policy fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview with the media that differences among Palestinian factions include how to advance the peace process and how the Palestinian National Authority will return to Gaza.

  “After a new round of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, any plan to return the Palestinian Authority to Gaza and politically integrate Hamas into the West Bank must be based on some form of understanding between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. On top of that," Lovatt said.

  Wang Jin pointed out, “In the future, if we want to truly resolve the Palestinian issue, especially to bring peace between Palestine and Israel through all political arrangements, we must solidly return to the principle of the 'two-state solution' and negotiate and dialogue. way to solve all the problems faced by Palestine and Israel, and thereby help bring about a just and lasting peace between Palestine and Israel as soon as possible.”

  Beijing News reporter Zhu Yuehong and Liu Jingyu