News / Middle East

Palestinians Give Mixed Reaction to New Prime Minister

Rami Hamdallah, president of al-Najah National University, speaks during a meeting at the university in the West Bank city of Nablus. (File)Rami Hamdallah, president of al-Najah National University, speaks during a meeting at the university in the West Bank city of Nablus. (File)
x
Rami Hamdallah, president of al-Najah National University, speaks during a meeting at the university in the West Bank city of Nablus. (File)
Rami Hamdallah, president of al-Najah National University, speaks during a meeting at the university in the West Bank city of Nablus. (File)
TEXT SIZE - +
Scott Bobb
— The appointment of a new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority by President Mahmoud Abbas has received support from his Fatah movement, but criticism from the rival Hamas movement.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas late Sunday night announced that the head of the West Bank's Al-Najah University, Rami Hamdallah, had been designated to form a new government. He takes over from outgoing Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who resigned in April but had stayed on as caretaker.

Hamdallah told Palestinian radio he would move quickly to form a new government. He said this government will be a continuation of the previous government and the majority of ministers will keep their portfolios. He said it would be part of the reconciliation effort between Abbas's Fatah movement, which controls the West Bank, and the rival Hamas movement that has controlled Gaza for the past six years.

Relations between the two groups have been tense since the Hamas takeover in Gaza. Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo two years ago but it has not been implemented. Last month the two groups agreed to form a unity government by August that would set a date for elections.

Hamdallah, a British-trained linguistics professor, is a member of Fatah. He headed the Palestinian Election Commission for the past 11 years, although he has never run for political office.

Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said the party hoped the designation would strengthen the Palestinian cause. He said the group welcomes the president's decision and hope that it will have a positive impact on the Palestinian people.

A spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum, however, condemned the appointment. He said this government is a clone [duplicate] of the previous governments and will not achieve unity for the Palestinian people. He said the appointment is illegal because it was not submitted to the Palestinian Legislative Council, and it does not include all the different Palestinian groups.

The Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since Hamas won controversial elections in 2007 and took power in Gaza the following year. Elections were to be held four years ago, but they have been postponed repeatedly.

Hamdallah is viewed as a moderate and a pragmatist. Analysts say he supports Abbas and, unlike his predecessor, is not likely to challenge him.

The new prime minister is expected to continue Fayyad's efforts to strengthen governance and combat corruption, though, which is a major concern of foreign donors.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: cj from: california
June 03, 2013 1:31 PM
Hamas and Fatah are also political parties and Hamas won the last Palestinian election. It seems to me that Abbas, who should have stood for re-election by now- should have conferred with the winners of that election, but the US and Israel are playing the divide and conquer game. In the age of cells and twitter that's a sure fire way to get gangrene in the body politic.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid