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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs