New Palestinian government to be formed in days: officials

Mohammad Shtayyeh, above, and Mahmoud Abbas will decide which members will join the new government. (AFP/File)
Updated 08 April 2019
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New Palestinian government to be formed in days: officials

  • Experts President Abbas still holds the decision-making power
  • Other movements will join Fatah in the new government

RAMALLAH: Palestinian prime minister-designate Mohammad Shtayyeh will announce the make-up of his new government in the coming days, Palestinian officials said Monday.
Shtayyeh has until April 14 to form a new government which is expected to exclude all supporters of Hamas, longtime rival to the Fatah movement of both Shtayyeh and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Analysts say real decision-making power remains with 84-year-old Abbas, in power since 2005.
Abbas on March 10 charged Shtayyeh with forming the new government, replacing Rami Hamdallah’s technocratic administration which had the nominal backing of Hamas.
The movement controls the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority Abbas heads is based in the West Bank, where Israel also maintains a military occupation.
Five smaller factions will also join Fatah in the new government, officials said.
Others, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to take part.
Deputy president Mahmoud Aloul told AFP a meeting would be held Monday evening between Shtayyeh and Abbas to decide on candidates for remaining ministries.
He said agreements had been reached over which factions would control which ministries.
Hamas has criticized the formation of the government, accusing Fatah of a power grab.
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since the Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip in a 2007 near-civil war, a year after winning parliamentary elections.
Palestinian politics has effectively been frozen since, and multiple reconciliation attempts have failed.
Former government minister Shtayyeh has been part of a number of Palestinian negotiating teams in US-brokered talks with Israel.


12 suspected extremists killed in Egypt raids: ministry

Updated 58 min 8 sec ago
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12 suspected extremists killed in Egypt raids: ministry

  • The ministry said five other suspects were killed in a different raid
  • No group claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack

CAIRO: Twelve suspected militants were killed Monday in police raids near Cairo, Egypt’s interior ministry said, a day after a bomb blast injured 17 people including tourists near the Giza pyramids.
Security forces “carried out a raid against an apartment in the 6th of October district used for making explosive devices... These forces were shot at and responded, which left seven dead among the group,” which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the ministry said in a statement.
In another such raid in Cairo’s Al-Shorouk neighborhood against the militant Hasm group, an armed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ministry said five suspected extremists were killed in an exchange of fire.
Weapons and ammunition were seized in the two apartments, the interior ministry said.
“As part of the ministry’s efforts to tackle the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, information reached national security services” of attacks being prepared by Hasm, the ministry said.
The statement did not directly link the raids to Sunday’s attack in which a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus near the famed Giza pyramids.
There was no claim of responsibility.
It came months after three Vietnamese holidaymakers and their Egyptian guide were killed when a roadside bomb hit their bus near the pyramids in December.
Egyptian authorities led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members after the military overthrew president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.
The Hasm group emerged in 2016 and has in the past claimed responsibility for several attacks.