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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs