RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The Palestinian Authority's acting prime minister came under fire Saturday for statements he reportedly made to a U.S. newspaper in which he criticized former and current Palestinian leaders.
“Our story is a story of failed leadership, from way early on,” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad reportedly told the New York Times. “It is incredible that the fate of the Palestinian people has been in the hands of leaders so entirely casual, so guided by spur-of-the-moment decisions, without seriousness.
"We don’t strategize, we cut deals in a tactical way and we hold ourselves hostage to our own rhetoric.”
He also criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement when he said: “This party, Fatah, is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment.”
Fayyad quickly denied he had made the statements or that he had given any interviews to the media since his submitted his resignation April 13. He has continued to serve as acting prime minister.
What appeared in the article were “just the personal impressions of the writer and they certainly are not statements for Dr. Fayyad, who did not make any statements or gave an interview for the New York Times or any other newspaper or agency since he has submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas,” Fayyad said in a statement issued by his office.
Fayyad’s explanation did not convince the party and its leaders. Tawfik Tirawi, a prominent Fatah member, said in a statement that the movement “will not allow this rudeness and slander" against current and former Palestinian leaders
He said Fayyad made the statements as an outcome of his own failures.
Fatah members carried out a fierce campaign to oust Fayyad, which eventually led to his resignation after six years in office. Abbas asked him to continue in his post as caretaker until a government of independent technocrats can be formed.