Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi 'resigns from PLO committee'

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi resigns from PLO committee 'over resumption of Israel ties'
2 min read
07 December, 2020
Sources who spoke to The New Arab's Arabic-language service said it was unclear whether PA President Mahmoud Abbas had accepted Dr Ashrawi's resignation.
Ashrawi is known for her independent views and support for non-violent resistance to occupation [Getty]

A leading Palestinian official has resigned from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee in protest at Ramallah's decision to resume security coordination with Israel, sources have told The New Arab’s Arabic- service.

Dr Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran legislator who has taken part in negotiations with Israel, submitted her resignation from the PLO's executive committee to Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas sometime in "the past few days".

The sources, who chose to remain anonymous because they were not authorised to speak to media, said it was not immediately clear whether President Abbas had accepted Dr Ashrawi's resignation.

"It appears that Ashrawi is angry at where things are right now," said the sources, referring to the Palestian leadership's decision last month to restore coordination with Israel.

The PA had suspended with Israel in May over its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Dr Ashrawi, who was unavailable for comment when reached for comment by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, contracted Covid-19 in October, though this is not believed to be linked to her resignation.

Appointed to the PLO's executive committee in 2007, Dr Ashrawi, 74, is the PA's highest-ranking female politician.

She is known for her independent views and support for non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation. In 1994, she founded the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.

After the PA cut ties, Israel has not acted on its plans to annex the West Bank.

At the time, the PA also stopped accepting the transfer of taxes - particularly customs duties - collected by Israel on its behalf.

Read also: Israel sends Palestinians over $1 billion in financial dues: minister

The decision led the PA to cut civil servants' salaries at a time when the Palestinian economy had begun grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the World Bank said the Palestinians were facing the "triple crises" of the pandemic, a "severe economic slowdown" and the "political standoff" with Israel that disrupted the tax transfers.

On Wednesday, Israel released more than $1 billion in funds it had withheld from the PA.

The transfers, which represent the equivalent of 35 percent of the PA's projected tax revenues this year, will not however be enough to balance its budget, according to the World Bank's calculations.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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