Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi quits PLO

By: AFP      Published: 11:17 PM, 9 Dec, 2020
Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi quits PLO

High-profile Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi resigned from the Palestine Liberation Organization on Wednesday, calling for the "renewal and reinvigoration" of Palestinian political leadership.

Ashrawi was widely reported to have been frustrated with the Palestinian Authority's decision last month to renew coordination with Israel.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had stopped that coordination in response to Israeli plans to annex Jewish settlements and other areas in the occupied West Bank.

Israel later put its annexation plans on hold, in return for an agreement to normalise ties with the United Arab Emirates, announced in August.

Ashrawi, one of the Palestinian leadership's most recognisable faces, did not address coordination with Israel in a statement announcing her resignation from the PLO's executive committee.

"I believe it is time to carry out the required reform and to activate the PLO in a manner that restores its standing," she said.

"The Palestinian political system needs renewal and reinvigoration with the inclusion of youth, women, and additional qualified professional," the 74-year-old added.

While seemingly criticising the leadership of 85-year-old Abbas, Ashrawi described her resignation discussion with him as "amicable".

Ashrawi has voiced support for reconciliation talks between Abbas's Fatah party and their rivals Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority is also hoping for a renewed diplomatic voice during the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.

The PA cut ties with President Donald Trump's administration, accusing of pro-Israeli bias.