Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled on Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement, Fatah and Hamas, and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.
Fayyad, appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, is credited with revitalizing the economy and building institutions needed to set the Palestinian Authority on the path to full statehood. But Hamas, which accuses him of helping Israel to blockade the Gaza Strip, has never recognized him.
"I say again it is time to end division," Fayyad told the Al-Quds newspaper. "I call upon all factions and political parties to agree on a new prime minister. I was never an obstacle to the implementation of the reconciliation and I refuse to be used as a pretext for continuing the split."