Salam Fayyad

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Salam Fayyad
سلام فياض
Salam Fayyad (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of PNA
In office
15 June 2007 – 6 June 2013
President Mahmoud Abbas
Preceded by Ismail Haniyeh*
Succeeded by Rami Hamdallah
Personal details
Born (1952-04-02) 2 April 1952 (age 63)
Deir al-Ghusun, West Bank
Political party Third Way
Alma mater American University of Beirut
St Edward's University
University of Texas, Austin
Religion Islam

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض‎, Salām Fayāḍ; born 2 April 1952) is a Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. He was Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority from June 2002 to November 2005 and from 17 March to 15 June 2007. His first appointment as Prime Minister on 15 June 2007, which was justified by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", was not confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council.[1] He was reappointed as PM of the May 2009 PA Government. Fayyad remained PM until June 2013. He resigned because of political differences between him and Abbas over the finance portfolio.[2] His successor, Rami Hamdallah, was named on 2 June 2013.[3]

Fayyad is an internationally respected economist.

Early life and education[edit]

Salam Fayyad was born in Deir al-Ghusun in northern West Bank on 2 April 1952. He graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1975[4] and received his MBA from St. Edward's University in 1980.[5] Fayyad has a PhD in economics, which he received from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of William Barnett and did early research on the American Divisia Monetary Aggregates, which he continued on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


Meeting George W. Bush, 2008

Fayyad began his teaching career at Yarmouk University in Jordan. He then worked at the World Bank in Washington from 1987-1995 and from 1996 to 2001 as the International Monetary Fund's representative to Palestine based in Jerusalem.[6]

Fayyad served as the regional manager of the Arab Bank in the West Bank and Gaza until he accepted an offer to become Yasser Arafat's Finance Minister in the Palestinian Authority Government of June 2002. He held this post until November 2005, when he resigned from the cabinet to ran as founder and leader of the new Third Way party in the legislative elections of 2006 alongside Hanan Ashrawi and Yasser Abd Rabbo.[7] The party yielded little success and only Fayyad and Ashrawi won their seats with only 2.41% of the popular vote. On 17 March 2007, Fayyad was again appointed Finance Minister, this time in the Fatah-Hamas unity government.

On 15 June 2007, following Hamas' takeover of Gaza, Fayyad was appointed Prime Minister of a disputed emergency government, appointed by President Abbas. It was a government without any Fatah or Hamas members, supported by Fatah, Israel and the West. This appointment was challenged as illegal, because it was not approved by the Legislative Council as required by the Palestinian Basic Law.[8][9]

End February 2009, Hamas and Fatah started a new round of talks in Cairo. On 7 March 2009, Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government.[10] Eventually, the negotiations broke down. On 19 May 2009, Fayyad was reappointed as PM in a new government without Hamas.[11]

On 14 February 2011, Fayyad tendered his government's resignation, two days after PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat had resigned over the leakage of the Palestine Papers, and one day after Abbas had unilaterally called for elections before September, without approval by Hamas.[12] Abbas immediately asked Fayyad to form a new cabinet.[13] Both, Fatah and Hamas declared themselves against the plan of Fayyad to form a unity government.[14] On 4 May, however, Abbas and Khaled Meshal signed the Cairo agreement to form a transitional government of technocrats to prepare for legislative and presidential elections. In June, the negotiations were postponed indefinitely and Abbas changed the focus on a bid for UN recognition for Palestinian statehood in September 2011, instead of forming a unity government.[15] Abbas expressed his concern over a government with any Hamas involvement because of the international opposition to such a government.[16]

On 16 May 2012, Fayyad became PM of a reshuffled Cabinet. He gave up his post as Finance Minister in favour of Nabeel Kassis.

On 13 April 2013, Fayyad resigned again. Abbas accepted his resignation but asked him to remain as interim prime minister of the Palestinian Authority until a new government could be formed.[17] He resigned because of political differences between him and Abbas over the finance portfolio.[2] On 6 June 2013, Fayyad was replaced by Rami Hamdallah, who became PM of the Palestinian Authority Governments of 2013.

2009 reform plan[edit]

On 23 August 2009, Fayyad came out with a working plan for reform of the fundamental infrastructures of a Palestinian State, called "Palestine — Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State", in which he detailed a two-year working plan for reinforcing the institutions of the future Palestinian State.[18] This included, among other elements, a separation of powers, a free market, the development of existing infrastructure, and the building of new infrastructure such as government offices, a stock market, and an airport, all with the purpose of establishing a "de facto Palestinian State," based on the premise that the peace talks with Israel were faltering.[19][20]

In September 2010, The New York Review of Books published an article by Nathan Thrall that raised questions about the Fayyad plan and one of its central elements: United States-sponsored training, equipping, and funding of the Palestinian Authority's security forces, which have been cooperating with Israel at unprecedented levels in the West Bank to quell supporters of Hamas, the main Palestinian Islamist group that opposes negotiations with Israel.[21]

Views of Salam Fayyad[edit]

Views on Palestinian statehood

Fayyad has rejected calls for a binational state and unilateral declaration of statehood:

"[Statehood] is not something that is going to happen to the Israelis, nor something that is going to happen to the Palestinians.... is something that will grow on both sides as a reality... creating a belief that this was inevitable through the process, a convergence of two paths, the political and the process, from the bottom up and the top down."[22]

On 29 June 2011, in contravention of the Palestinian Authority's official position, and that of president Mahmoud Abbas, Fayyad expressed skepticism about its approach to the United Nations for a vote on statehood, saying it would be only a symbolic victory.[23]

Views on religion

In 2007, Fayyad was quoted by Forbes:[24]

"It's the responsibility of men of religion to ... present religion as a way of tolerance, not as a cover for bloodshed."

Opinions about Salam Fayyad[edit]

Fayyad won international and domestic approval for his management of the West Bank. The World Bank credited him with making substantial improvements in Palestinian state institutions.[25]

Thomas Friedman, an American columnist, praised Fayyad for trying to build functioning institutions of a Palestinian state, and not focusing on Israel. Unlike Yasser Arafat, Fayyad "calls for the opposite — for a nonviolent struggle, for building non corrupt transparent institutions and effective police and paramilitary units, which even the Israeli Army says are doing a good job; and then, once they are all up and running, declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank by 2011."[26]


In media, Fayyad's political ideas are sometimes referred to as "Fayyadism".[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Palestinian PM: Ready to leave post once new premier is chosen". Global Times. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Abbas asks caretaker Palestinian PM to stay on". Agence France-Presse. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Abbas Tasks Rami Hamdallah to Form New Palestinian Govt.". Naharnet. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Kershner, Isabel. "Salam Fayyad". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ 1980 MBA Graduate of St. Edward's University
  6. ^ Profile: Salam Fayyad. BBC, 17 June 2007
  7. ^ Palestinian third way rises CS Monitor, Ilene R. Prusher, 13 December 2005
  8. ^ Whose Coup Exactly?, The Electronic Intifada, 18 June 2007
  9. ^ TEXT-Opinion of lawyer who drafted Palestinian law. Reuters, 8 July 2007
  10. ^ Palestinian PM Fayyad steps down BBC NEWS 7 March 2009, Retrieved 7 March 2009
  11. ^ Palestinians Reappoint Prime Minister Who Had Quit. New York Times, 19 May 2009
  12. ^ Abbas calls for Palestinian polls. Al Jazeera, 13 February 2011
  13. ^ Abbas asks Fayyad to form new government. Ma’an/AFP, 14 February 2011
  14. ^ Fatah says no to unity government with Hamas. Khaled Abu Toamah, Jerusalem Post, 27 February 2011
  15. ^ Mahmoud Abbas signals intent to bid for UN recognition for Palestinian statehood. Telegraph, 26 June 2011
  16. ^ Abbas might delay Palestinian unity government. Associated Press, 30 June 2011
  17. ^ Kershner, Isabel (13 April 2013). "Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns, Adding Uncertainty to Government". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Fayyad fears for economic achievements. Al Bawaba, 5 September 2011
  19. ^ Ali Waked, תוכנית פיאד: פלסטין דמוקרטית וקפיטליסטית, Yediot Ahronot, 25 August 2009
  20. ^ Avi Yisasharof, ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני, סלאם פיאד: מדינה דה-פקטו בתוך שנתיים, Haaretz, August 2009
  21. ^ Our Man in Palestine. Nathan Thrall, The New York Review of Books, 14 October 2010
  22. ^ Friedson, Felice. "Fayyad rejects bi-natio..". JPost. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  23. ^ Ravid, Barak (28 June 2011). "Palestinian PM: UN recognition of state will just be symbolic victory". Haaretz. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Fayyad Warns Islamic Preachers. Forbes, 29 June 2007
  25. ^ "Reports See Fiscal Woes Undermining Palestinians". New York Times. 12 September 2009. 
  26. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (17 March 2010). "Let's Fight Over a Big Plan". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Comment: Fayyad boosts Palestinian cause. Tobias Buck, The Financial Times, 12 April 2010

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Ismail Haniyeh
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
Prime Minister of the State of Palestine

Succeeded by
Rami Hamdallah