(JNS.org) The Palestinian unity government that was formed last year between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Hamas terror group has purportedly ended.
"[Palestinian unity government Prime Minister Rami] Hamdallah handed his resignation to Abbas, and Abbas ordered him to form a new government," said Nimr Hammad, an adviser to Abbas, AFP reported.
But some Fatah officials, including Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, have denied the reports of the resignation.
Hamas said it was not informed of the dissolution of the government and rejected any unilateral moves.
"No one told us anything about any decision to change and no one consulted with us about any change in the unity government. Fatah acted on its own in all regards," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP on Wednesday.
Despite forging a deal a year ago to form a unity government made up of technocrats, little progress has been seen in reconciling the deep split between the two Palestinian factions, a rift that has divided the Palestinians since Hamas violently took control of Gaza in 2007.
The purported ending of the unity government comes amid recent reports of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas regarding a long-term cease-fire and an easing of the blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza, including the construction of a seaport in Gaza. At the same time, reports also indicate a softening stance between Hamas and the Egyptian government, as both continue to face threats from Islamic State-aligned terror groups in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.