Palestine's Abbas appoints ally Shtayyeh as prime minister

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
RAMALLAH, Palestine
Published 10.03.2019 16:33
Updated 10.03.2019 23:12
Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh receives a designation letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new Palestinian government. (Reuters Photo)
Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh receives a designation letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new Palestinian government. (Reuters Photo)

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas appointed longtime ally Mohammad Shtayyeh as prime minister on Sunday, a senior official said.

Abbas asked Shtayyeh, a member of the central committee of the Palestinian president's Fatah party, to form a new government, Fatah vice president Mahmoud al-Aloul told AFP.

Official Palestinian news agency WAFA also reported the move.

Some analysts view bringing in Shtayyeh to replace outgoing prime minister Rami Hamdallah as part of Abbas's efforts to further isolate his political rivals from Hamas, the group that runs the Gaza Strip.

Shtayyeh, born in 1958, is a long-term Abbas ally, while Hamdallah was politically independent.

The previous government was formed during a period of improved relations and had the backing of Hamas.

This government is instead likely to be dominated by Fatah, though other smaller parties will be represented. Hamas is not expected to be included.

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