The new Palestinian government, headed by Mohammad Shtayyeh, was sworn in on Saturday before the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, amid strong criticism by Hamas movement.
In a statement, Hamas denounced the formation of the new cabinet, explaining that this “separatist government lacks the constitutional and national legitimacy.”
Hamas added that such cabinet will enhance the opportunities of separating the West Bank from Gaza strip as a part of the US-backed so-called “deal of the century.”
Meanwhile, Hamas stated that in order to confront challenges facing the Palestinian cause, there is a need to correct these wrong paths and form a national unity government.
The new government, dominated by Fatah officials, composed of 21 ministries, including 16 new officials and three women in tourism, health, and women affairs. Only five remain in office including Foreign Minister Riyadh Malki and Finance Minister Shukri Bishara.
On 10 March, Shtayyeh, an economic expert and a long-term advisor for Abbas, was named as the new prime minister after the resignation of Rami Hamdallah two months earlier. Hamdallah led the last government since 2014 with the support of Fatah and Hamas factions.
In January, Abbas ordered to form a new government without the Hamas faction and Islamic Jihad movement, adding more tensions to the two long-term rival factions’ relations. Ealier in December he decreed to dissolve the PA’s parliament, which is better known as the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Since winning the elections in 2005, Hamas has controlled the Palestinian parliament. However, the parliament’s missions were suspended in 2007 over the electoral dispute between the two Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah.