Palestine’s prime minister submitted his resignation today, a move that could help pave the way for an elusive power-sharing deal between Fatah moderates and Hamas militants. Salam Fayyad's decision was meant to build confidence before Palestinian reconciliation talks resume Tuesday in Cairo. He was appointed by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007 in response to the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas.
Negotiators from Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah are trying to form a transition government ahead of elections by January 2010. Abbas said he hoped a transition government could be formed by the end of March; he said he’d step down after its formation, but no later than the end of March. Fayyad's resignation "comes to enhance and support the national dialogue to reach a national unity government," Abbas said. But Hamas seemed dismissive.