On Wednesday, the qualified Palestinian negotiator and women’s rights advocate, Hanan Ashrawi, resigned from her superior post in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and appealed for political reforms.
Ashrawi (74 years old), did not indicate a reason for her resignation when announcing the move. However, she stated that the PLO’s Executive Committee where she worked had been marginalized and from decision-making.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (85-year-old) head the 15-member committee, which constitute the most senior body of the PLO, and is not often assembled
Ashrawi related in her statement: The Palestinian political system needs renewal and reinvigoration with the inclusion of youth, women and additional qualified professionals; she also added that she had offered her resignation to Abbas. I believe it is time to carry out the required reform and to activate the PLO in a manner that restores its standing and role, Ashrawi said.
On his part, and in a brief statement, Abbas related that he had accepted Ashrawi’s resignation. Whereas, critics accuse Abbas of allowing Palestinian political institutions to stagnate under his authority in the West Bank.
It should be noted that there have been no presidential or parliamentary elections for the Palestinian Authority that Abbas heads, for more than a decade.
Ashrawi’s negotiating days date back to the earliest public, during the US-mediated discussions with Israel in 1991 at the Madrid Conference, as a PLO spokeswoman, she evoked the Palestinian seek for statehood to the world.
After signing the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, Ashrawi worked in the cabinet of the newly-formed Palestinian Authority that has limited self-rule in the West Bank.
Otherwise, Ashrawi was a champion of women’s rights, and she was the first woman elected to the Executive Committee in 2009. She was re-elected to the group in 2018 and has directed its Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy.