Last week, rumors swirled that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was going to fire Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad. Today, Fayyad has resigned. Or "resigned," as BBC World's Twitter account put it.
Abbas appointed Fayyad in 2007. He was in charge of nearly 40 percent of the West Bank. He was politically independent, seen as a liberal, and popular with the West though less so within the Palestinian government (Hamas, for instance, refused to accept Fayyad's appointment, accusing him of cooperating with the Israel). Abbas and Fayyad had been embroiled in what the AP called an "increasingly bitter dispute" after Fayyad's finance minister Nabil Kassis resigned last month. Fayyad accepted the resignation, only for Abbas to overrule him and undermine his power. Secretary of State John Kerry had been trying to get the two to reconcile as part of his ongoing attempts to broker peace in the Middle East, but by late last week that appeared impossible, as it was reported that Fayyad had offered his resignation. Abbas accepted it today, and is expected to appoint new prime minister within the next couple days.
Fayyad could use the time off. Just last week, he was hospitalized for pancreatic inflammation.