Ramallah, West Bank The Palestinian Cabinet resigned Wednesday to clear the way for a new unity government, and President Mahmoud Abbas said he plans to send a delegation to the U.N. to try to revive a Mideast peace plan.
The mass resignation is the first step in forming a government that would include both the Islamic militant group Hamas and Abbas' moderate Fatah faction.
Government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said the ministers handed their portfolios to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader. The next step would be Haniyeh's resignation. Abbas would then pick a candidate to form a new government - probably Haniyeh.
Abbas said earlier Wednesday that he would send a delegation to the U.N. General Assembly next week to try to revive the long-stalled "road map" peace plan.
The plan called for confidence building steps leading to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel by 2005. It was launched by President Bush with great fanfare at a summit in Jordan in June 2003. But neither the Palestinians nor Israel met their initial obligations, and the plan never got off the ground.