Rami Hamdallah to head new Palestinian government
Arabic media review

Rami Hamdallah to head new Palestinian government

Egypt preps for elections this week by deploying massive number of soldiers; Syria summons Druze politician for questioning

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (photo credit: An-Najah University)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (photo credit: An-Najah University)

Palestinian reconciliation is moving forward, with Palestinian media reporting that a unity government including 15 ministers and headed by current PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will be announced imminently.

“The unity government headed by Hamdallah will be declared by the end of the week,” reads the headline of official Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam. The daily quoted Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad as saying that the new technocrat government will likely be announced on May 28 or 29.

Al-Ahmad added that an Arab committee will be tasked with restructuring the security agencies of Gaza and the West Bank. Gaza’s police will be reinforced with 3,000 Civil Defense men from the West Bank, and the other agencies will be overhauled under Egyptian supervision.

Meanwhile, London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports that Hamas intends to integrate its tunnel diggers, men belonging to the “Border and Tunnel Authority,” into its National Security agency.

Issam Da’alis, an adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told A-Rai news agency that the transition will be implemented shortly. The security men have gone out of business following Egypt’s destruction of some 500 tunnels following the ouster of Mulsim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last June.

Egypt heats up ahead of elections

The upcoming Egyptian elections this week feature high on Arab media Friday. The military is reportedly deploying huge numbers of soldiers to guard the voting process, and political propaganda is becoming ubiquitous.

“181,000 soldiers deployed to secure Egyptian elections,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, featuring a photo of a large banner for presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. All political propaganda must stop by Saturday, two days before the start of elections, the daily reports.

Meanwhile, pro-Muslim Brotherhood news channel Al-Jazeera, broadcast from Qatar, leads its coverage of Egypt with a report on “anti-coup protests in opposition of Egypt’s presidential elections.”

The channel reports that authorities have shut down the campus, “despite the fact that students have not completed their final exams,” in order to clear it of protesters.

Syria summons Jumblatt for Questioning

Veteran Lebanese Druze politician Walid Jumblatt was summoned for questioning by a Syrian court, Arab media reports widely on Friday, on charges of “harming the prestige” of Syria.

Jumblatt and a liberal Lebanese journalist named Fares Khashan were summoned by a Latakia court for a hearing against them on June 1. While it was unclear what charges were being leveled against the two, Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya referred to Jumblatt as “one of the foremost opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Lebanon.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: