Donor countries have warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
against trying to replace Prime Minister Salam Fayyad or confiscate his control
over the PA Finance Ministry, a Western diplomat based in Israel told The
Jerusalem Post Monday.
The diplomat said that the donors were aware of
Abbas’s repeated attempts to remove Fayyad from power and seize control over the
“We won’t allow this to happen,” the diplomat said.
have made it clear to President Abbas that international aid will be affected if
he or Fatah remove Fayyad.”
The warning came as sources in Ramallah
confirmed that a sharp crisis has erupted between Abbas and Fayyad.
sources said that the tensions between the two men began after Abbas announced
his intention to reshuffle the cabinet. The announcement surprised Fayyad who,
according to the sources, had not been notified in advance of the planned
Abbas has been under immense pressure from Fatah to either
replace Fayyad or take the finance portfolio away from him.
previous attempts to conduct a cabinet reshuffle were foiled by Western donors,
who fear that Fatah is trying to lay its hands on international financial aid
earmarked for the Palestinians.
A report published Monday in the
London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper said that Abbas was no longer answering
Fayyad’s phone calls.
The report said that Abbas was angry with Fayyad
after the latter refused to deliver a letter from the PA president to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week.
One source quoted Fayyad as
saying, “I don’t work as a postman for Abbas and Fatah.”
to deliver the letter embarrassed the PA president, the source
Abbas’s office announced two weeks ago that Fayyad would head a
delegation that would meet with Netanyahu and hand him the letter that outlines
the PA’s position on the peace process and the two-state
However, Fayyad announced at the last minute that he would not
go to the meeting in Jerusalem, which coincided with the beginning of
Palestinian “Prisoner Day” hunger strikes.
PA and Fatah officials in
Ramallah refused Monday to discuss the Abbas-Fayyad tensions in
However, some Fatah officials pointed out that the rivalry
between the two men was not new and that tensions between them have existed for
some time now.
The officials noted that Fayyad had opposed Abbas’s
statehood bid at the UN in September 2011 and the way the PA president was
handling the issue of reconciliation with Hamas.
appointed Fayyad and he is the only one who could fire him or keep him in
power,” said Fatah legislator Najat Abu Baker. “Palestinian women continue to
deliver and there are thousands of people who could serve as prime minister and
do what Fayyad is doing.”