Haniyeh chooses moderate professor as deputy

Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh has chosen a relatively moderate Islamic studies professor from Nablus to serve as his deputy, Hamas officials said Sunday. Nasser Eddin Shaer, 48, will essentially serve as prime minister of the West Bank because Israel has barred Haniyeh from traveling out of the Gaza Strip, where he lives, the officials said. The London-educated Shaer is considered a relative moderate in the Islamic group. Released earlier this month from an Israeli prison where he was incarcerated for five months, Shaer is a longtime member of Hamas but was not involved in the group's military wing, officials said. Shaer, a professor of Islamic studies at Nablus' a-Najah University, said he would also serve as Education Minister in the new Hamas-led government.