Middle East envoy James Wolfensohn has decided to step down because of restrictions imposed on him after Hamas formed the new Palestinian government in March, a Quartet source said on Friday.
"His term is expiring at the end of the month and he has no intention of remaining" in the job, an official in his office said, adding that no formal announcement was planned.

Wolfensohn’s departure expands a diplomatic vacuum after the , the European Union and severed contacts with the Palestinian Authority and frozen direct aid.

officials have told Palestinian officials that there is little chance Quartet partners the , the European Union, and the United Nations will agree to appoint a new envoy anytime soon.

Wolfensohn, who was appointed to the post a year ago, had threatened to quit because he said his mandate and backing were unclear after Hamas won parliamentary elections in January.

Wolfensohn’s departure indicates the tough restrictions imposed on the International organizations that support the Palestinian people after Hamas assumed control over the PA.

But has brushed aside pressure from the and to shun Hamas and has called the decision to cut off funding to the Palestinian government a mistake.

UN officials have also expressed concern that a cut-off in direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority could trigger a humanitarian crisis and weaken the very institutions that would be needed to run any future Palestinian state.

Local observers said the Quartet is currently implanting the policies instead of being a committee for peace in the Middle East.