JERUSALEM (JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a Fatah Party insider who was educated abroad as prime minister. Mohammad Shtayyeh, a longtime Abbas ally, was announced on Sunday as the new prime minister. He replaces Rami Hamdallah, who had been prime minister since 2014. Shtayyeh, a member of the central committee of the Palestinian president’s Fatah party, will form a new government. An economist, Shtayyeh earned a PhD in development at Sussex University in Britain in the 1980s.
He served as a peace negotiator for the Palestinians with Israel in 1991 and again in 2013-14 and is a supporter of the two-state solution. He has also expressed criticism of the terror organization Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. His appointment comes after multiple attempts for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas have failed. It is seen as an attempt to further isolate Hamas.
Hamas announced Sunday it will not recognize Shtayyeh’s authority because, it reportedly said, he was appointed without national consensus.
CAP: Newly-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)