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)
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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid