The new Palestinian Authority government was sworn in before PA President
Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday.
The 24-member government, headed
by Rami Hamdallah, is the 15th since the establishment of the PA nearly two
Hamdallah’s government has two deputy prime ministers: Ziad
Abu Amr, an independent politician from the Gaza Strip, and Muhammad Mustafa,
director of the PLO’s Palestine Investment Fund.
In addition to Abu Amr
and Mustafa, six new ministers joined the government: Shukri Bishara as Finance
Minister, Ali Abu Zuhri as Education Minister, Kamal al-Sharafi as Social
Welfare Minister, Jawad Awwad as Health Minister, Nabil Smaidi as Transportation
Minister, and Saed al-Kawni as Minister for Local Government.
remaining ministries will continue to be run by those ministers who served in
outgoing Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s government.
They include Foreign
Affairs Minister Riad Malki, Interior Minister Said Abu Ali, Minister for
Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Husseini, Labor Minister Ahmed Majdalani and Minister
for Wakf Affairs Mahmoud Habbash.
Abbas said during the swearing-in
ceremony that the new government was his government and that he would fully
support it in carrying out its duties “to achieve the establishment of an
independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
mission is difficult and we must face the difficulties with determination and
unity,” Abbas said.
He added that this government was supposed to be a
national unity government with Hamas. “But what happened was that we still
haven’t reached agreement with Hamas on holding new elections.”
agree with Hamas, we will form a new government consisting of technocrats and
independent figures,” Abbas said.