The Palestinian Cabinet submitted their resignations on Thursday following the apparent Hamas victory in legislative elections, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei's office said, setting the stage for the Islamic group to lead a new Palestinian government.
The resignations were in part a formality required after an election, but the timing of the move - hours before the release of official results - was surprising. The announcement from Qureia's office did not mention Hamas.
Under Palestinian law, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must now ask the party that holds a majority in the legislature to form a new government.
Officials with Hamas and Abbas' Fatah Party said they expected Hamas to win a solid majority in the parliament. Official results were expected later Thursday.