The Palestinian national consensus government was sworn in on Monday at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. The ceremony was made possible after obstacles the negotiations towards an agreed government faced were overcome.
During the last moments of the negotiations Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesperson for Hamas, clarified that at the core of the disagreements were the movement’s reservations regarding the appointment of Ryiad al-Maliki as the minister of foreign affairs, as well as Fatah’s suggestion to eliminate the ministry of prisoners’ affairs. Eventually it was agreed that al-Maliki will remain as foreign affairs minister and that while the ministry of prisoners’ affairs would remain open, no minister would be appointed at its head.
The new government, which will pave the way for long-overdue legislative and presidential elections, will be chaired by Rami Hamdallah, who is currently serving as prime minister in the Fatah-dominated West Bank administration.