Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who announced on Thursday that he was quitting just two weeks after taking office.
"The president accepted the resignation of the prime minister and designated him to head an interim government," Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said.
Hamdallah's surprise move undermines Palestinian stability at a time when the United States is trying to bring Israel and the Palestinians together for renewed peace talks. The drive has floundered amid internal political rifts on both sides.
Officials told Reuters that Hamdallah, an academic with no political experience, had offered to resign after a "dispute over authority" with his deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Mohammed Mustafa.
Mustafa, a head of the Palestinian Investment Fund, and Ziad Abu Amr, a former foreign minister, are considered close to Abbas and the Fatah party he leads, and are likely frontrunners to replace Hamdallah within the two-week interim period mandated by Palestinian law.