Palestinian Authority ministers were sworn in for a second time on Sunday after a lawyer noticed that the oath they took the day before had been missing a phrase.
Lawyer Nael Al-Hawah spotted the omission after PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s new government was sworn in before President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in the West Bank.
The oath had dropped a clause where ministers swear to be loyal “to the people and its national heritage,” the lawyer said.
“I noticed the error and I posted a status update on Facebook,” he told AFP.
Shtayyeh called Al-Hawah to acknowledge the error and inform him that the oath would be repeated in its entirety on Sunday, he said.
Official PA news agency Wafa said the oath was indeed repeated, adding that the mistake had been caused by a “typing error.”
Al-Hawah said he was familiar with the vow, having closely followed PA governments and because it was part of his teaching for law trainees.
He said the error could have placed the government’s legality in doubt.
According to Wafa, the full oath reads: “I swear by Almighty God to be loyal to the homeland and its sanctities, to the people and its national heritage, to respect the constitutional order and the law, and to take full care of the interests of the Palestinian people.”
The new ministers took office following a change of government that several analysts said was made to further isolate the Hamas terror group, at odds with the Fatah party of Abbas since it took over Gaza from the PA in a near civil war in 2007.
The government includes many of Abbas’s longtime allies and is mostly comprised of members of Fatah, though several smaller factions are also represented. It does not include anyone from Hamas.
Palestinian politics have been effectively frozen since the Hamas takeover, and multiple reconciliation attempts have faltered.
Other parties, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to take part in the new government, calling for a unity government of all factions, including Hamas.
Abbas, 84, is seen as retaining the real decision-making authority.
While his term was meant to expire in 2009, Abbas has remained in office in the absence of elections since the Fatah-Hamas split.
Hamas said in a statement that the new government “resorts to unilateralism and monopoly of power.”
The new appointments “widen the Palestinian division at the expense of the Palestinian people’s interests,” it said, calling for a unity government that includes Hamas.