New Palestinian government to be formed within days, officials say
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New Palestinian government to be formed within days, officials say

PM-designate Mohammad Shtayyeh will meet with Abbas Monday evening to divvy up ministries in Fatah-led cabinet

Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government recite a prayer during a meeting in Ramallah on September 11, 2014. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government recite a prayer during a meeting in Ramallah on September 11, 2014. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Shtayyeh will announce the makeup of his new government in the coming days, Palestinian officials said Monday.

Shtayyeh has until April 14 to form a new government that is expected to exclude all supporters of Hamas, longtime rival to the Fatah movement of both Shtayyeh and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Analysts say real decision-making power remains with 84-year-old Abbas, in power since 2005.

Abbas on March 10 charged Shtayyeh with forming the new government, replacing Rami Hamdallah’s technocratic administration which had the nominal backing of Hamas.

Five smaller factions will also join Fatah in the new government, officials said.

Newly-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, at his office in Ramallah, March 10, 2019. (Abbas Momani/AFP)

Others, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to take part.

Deputy President Mahmoud Aloul told AFP a meeting would be held Monday evening between Shtayyeh and Abbas to decide on candidates for remaining ministries.

He said agreements had been reached over which factions would control which ministries.

Hamas has criticized the formation of the government, accusing Fatah of a power grab.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Secretary-General Saeb Erekat (L) attend the opening session of the 30th Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital Tunis on March 31, 2019. (Fethi Belaid/Pool/AFP)

Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads for years, especially since the former seized control of the Gaza Strip in a violent overthrow of the PA in 2007, a year after winning parliamentary elections.

Palestinian politics has effectively been frozen since, and multiple reconciliation attempts have failed.

Former government minister Shtayyeh has been part of a number of Palestinian negotiating teams in US-brokered talks with Israel.

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