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Palestinian president fires West Bank governors as PA's unpopularity grows

The Palestinian Authority is unpopular in the West Bank and elections have not been held in nearly two decades, while Islamist rival Hamas’ support is rising in the occupied Palestinian territory.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to fire several governors in the occupied West Bank comes amid the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) deep unpopularity in the territory and is unlikely to lead to major changes in Palestinian politics.

Abbas “sent to retirement” the governors of Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tubas and Jericho in the West Bank by decree. The 87-year-old president also removed four governors in the Gaza Strip, according to a report from the PA’s official WAFA news agency.

The removal of the Gaza Strip governors is in name only, since the besieged enclave is under the control of the rival Palestinian military organization Hamas. Abbas also issued a decree to form a committee tasked with selecting candidates for the vacant governorships. The candidates will be recommended to Abbas for a final decision, WAFA reported.

Only three governors, including Ramallah's Laila Ghannam, remained in their positions, according to reports.

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