Courtesy Reuters

When Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned last Saturday, fed up with political attacks from President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, a number of observers worried that it marked “the beginning of the end of the PA.” Western governments viewed Fayyad as indispensible, the only uncorrupted figure both aligned with Western interests and sufficiently independent of Fatah to check its unelected rule in the West Bank.

Although Fayyad was unpopular -- his party received just 2.4 percent of the vote in the 2006 legislative election -- he was a capable technocrat, successfully administering the scattered municipalities of the West Bank. He spoke

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