Hamas, operating in the Gaza Strip, has called the new government “separatist” and again made it clear that it does not recognise its legitimacy.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new government, which is led by his associate in the governing Fatah movement, Muhammad Shtaya, local television reported Saturday.
Shtaya replaced the non-partisan Rami Hamdallu, whose cabinet was created in the hope of regaining control over the Gaza Strip, which is governed by the Islamist opposition.
The government, whose power is still limited to the West Bank, consists of 22 ministers. According to the official Wafa agency, ministers of the interior and religious affairs have not yet been appointed.
Hamas, which refuses to recognise the new government as legitimate, has been governing the Gaza Strip for almost 12 years. Residents of the enclave live under conditions of sanctions, isolation from the outside world, military conflict, and a degrading socio-economic situation. The Fatah movement controls the West Bank through the institutions of the Palestinian National Authority, which enjoy international recognition and support.
Fatah has repeatedly accused Hamas of dividing the country and preventing the Palestinian Unity Government from administering the Gaza Strip, and demanded that Hamas hand over full control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority government.
Source: News Agencies