Jerusalem Post reports, the US lauds Rami Hamdallah as new PA prime minister :
Hamdallah has no political experience….Abbas summoned Hamdallah to his office in Ramallah and informed him of the decision to entrust him with heading a government…….Hamas, responding to the appointment of Hamdallah, said that the new government would not represent the Palestinian people.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the new government would be “illegal,” because it had not won the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Rami Hamdallah is a little-known academic outside of Palestine who has been dean of al-Najah University in Nablus for the past 15 years. Hamdallah, 54, is a British- educated English professor who holds PhD in applied linguistics. He is replacing Washington favorite Salam Fayyad, a U.S. educated economist who quit on April 13th.
The appointment comes 7 weeks after Fayyad’s departure, the deadline for the appointment under Palestinian law.
A member of Fatah, Hamdallah has been serving as the secretary general of the Palestinian central elections commission since 2002. Now as head of the P.A.’s transition government, he will serve until the next election, although Barak Ravid reporting for Haaretz correctly notes “optimistic scenarios do not envision these elections happening in the foreseeable future”.
An anonymous Palestinian official told Reuters Abbas had designated Hamdallah to form a new cabinet. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zahari said this breached the Cairo agreement to form a unity government between Fatah and Hamas and is therefore illegal. According to Reuters, the Palestinian news agency WAFA claims Abbas “stressed his commitment to reconciliation.”
Asharq Al-Awsat reports:
Abu Mazen stressed his commitment to the reconciliation agreements signed in Cairo and Doha and said that the agreements would be applied within the time frame agreed upon in Cairo. This means the formation of a temporary government led by Hamdallah for three months, until a new government is formed based on an agreement between Fatah and Hamas.
US Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Hamdallah’s appointment, UPI:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated him, saying his appointment “comes at a moment of challenge, which is also an important moment of opportunity.”
“Together, we can choose the path of a negotiated two-state settlement that will allow Palestinians to fulfill their legitimate aspirations, and continue building the institutions of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state that will live in peace, security, and economic strength alongside Israel,” Kerry said in a statement.
“We also recognize the extraordinary contributions of outgoing Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, who has worked tirelessly to build effective Palestinian institutions.”