New Cabinet sworn in
President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new Cabinet all of whom were sworn in yesterday.
President Abbas, the leader of the Fatah Movement has taken the decision more than a year after the last Cabinet resigned in February 2011. A previous decision to appoint a new Cabinet was put on hold as talks between Fatah and their rival Islamic group in the Gaza Strip, Hamas, appeared to go through a reconciliation process in April 2011.
After several high profile signings of agreements the decision was taken to hold elections in the Palestinian Territories in May 2012. Since then there has been little movement on the process towards reconciliation between the two sides and the election date has been and gone.
It is for this reason that President Abbas has decided to go ahead and appoint a Cabinet. A furious Hamas spokesperson said that the move would further divide the two groups. President Abbas has said that if Hamas is prepared to talk then the new government will have no role.
Meanwhile the list of the new government as published on Wafa, the Palestinian News and Information Agency website, is as follows:
|Salam Fayyad||Prime Minister|
|Nabil Qassis||Minister of Finance (new)|
|Riad Malki||Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Said Abu Ali||Minister of the Interior|
|Yousef Abu Safieh||Minister of the Environment|
|Ahmad Majdalani||Minister of Labour|
|Khaled Qawasmi||Minister of Local Government|
|Lamis Alami||Minister of Education|
|Mahmoud Habbash||Minister of Muslim affairs and Waqf|
|Siham Barghouti||Minister of Culture|
|Ali Jarbawi||Minister of Higher Education|
|Majida Masri||Minister of Social Affairs|
|Maher Ghneim||Minister of Works and Housing|
|Rabiha Diab||Minister of Women|
|Issa Qaraqi||Minister of Prisoners|
|Jawad Naji||Minister of the Economy|
|Rola Ma’aiya||Minister of Tourism|
|Safa Nasser Eddin||Minister of Telecommunications|
|Ali Abu Zuhri||Minister of Transportation|
|Adnan Husseini||Minister of Jerusalem|
|Ali Muhanna||Minister of Justice|
|Mahmoud Abu Ramadan||State Minister for Planning|
|Hani Abdeen||Minister of Health|
|Walid Assaf||Minister of Agriculture|
The list includes eleven new ministers.