New Palestinian PM sworn in before President Abbas
14 Apr 2019, 00:39 ( 10 days ago)
New Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye and his cabinet members were sworn in on Saturday before President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the official television reported.
The 18th Palestinian government since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 was sworn in according to a presidential decree issued by Abbas.
According to the presidential decree, Ishtaye will serve as the minister of interior and minister of Waqf, or religious affairs, until two new ministers are named.
Ishtaye and the ministers separately took the oath, all vowing to respect the law and the Palestinian constitutional system.
The new government consists of 24 ministers from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), mainly Abbas' Fatah Party, the Palestinian People's Party, the FIDA party, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, in addition to independent figures.
Both Islamic Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad are excluded from the new government, as Hamas has been ruling the Gaza Strip since it violently seized control of the coastal enclave from Abbas' security forces in 2007.
Ibrahim Melhem, spokesman for the new government and a member of Fatah, told Palestine TV that the mission of the new Palestinian government is defend Palestinian holy sites and lands despite Israel's threats to annex the West Bank.
"We want to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian citizens, but that requires political support from the Palestinian leadership," said Melhem.
"The test is put through the work of ministers on the ground and not certificates. I will communicate with the journalists and give them the frank, true and clear information and answer the difficult questions," he added.