RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian officials voiced optimism on Sunday the resignation of US-backed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad would not hinder Washington's planned development initiative for the West Bank.
Palestinian officials said Fayyad, long trusted by the West as a non-corrupt conduit for its aid funds, would not be handling the US development plan in his capacity as interim caretaker prime minister.
But, one official said, "everyone knows that aid is meant for the Palestinian people, and not just one man," and implementation of the initiative would be monitored by President Mahmoud Abbas and "a team of his choosing."
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Fayyad's resignation was a matter of internal politics and should have no bearing on Western efforts to shore up the Palestinian economy.
"It would be counterproductive and flagrant meddling to punish us for what was a domestic political decision, and something that was long in the making," Ashrawi said.