Palestinian President Abbas blames Hamas for bomb attack on PM convoy in Gaza

Palestinian president MahmOud Abbas has blamed Hamas for the attack on his prime minister Rami Hamdallah. (AFP)
Updated 19 March 2018

Palestinian President Abbas blames Hamas for bomb attack on PM convoy in Gaza

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 19 : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday blamed the Islamist Hamas group for the March 13 bomb attack on the convoy of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza, saying it was a “despicable and sinful act.”
Hamdallah and Palestinian security chief Majid Faraj were uninjured when a roadside bomb exploded as they entered the Gaza Strip on their way to a ceremony in the enclave that is dominated by the Hamas faction and is a rival of Abbas’s Fatah faction.
“We give congratulate the two big brothers (Hamdallah and Faraj) that they are safe after the sinful and despicable attack that was carried out against them by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said in a speech in Ramallah.


Tunisian president chooses former finance minister to be PM

Updated 29 min 36 sec ago

Tunisian president chooses former finance minister to be PM

  • Elyes Fakhfakh has a month to form a coalition capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority
  • The choice of Fakhfakh, 48, underscores the country’s economic priorities following a decade of low growth

TUNIS: Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday designated Elyes Fakhfakh as prime minister, a presidency statement said, after the fractured parliament this month rejected a government proposed by an earlier nominee to the post.
The former finance minister now has a month to form a coalition capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority, or there will be another election with urgent economic decisions hanging over the country.
The choice of Fakhfakh, 48, underscores the economic priorities following a decade of low growth, high public debt and declining services since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy.
Fakhfakh, a former employee of the French energy company Total, served as finance minister in 2012 in the volatile period after the revolution and also worked as tourism minister.
The incumbent government of Youssef Chahed has since 2016 tried to rein in spending while addressing the aftermath of two major militant attacks in 2015 that devastated Tunisia’s crucial tourism industry.
However, it has been acting as a caretaker government since the Oct. 6 parliamentary election in which the largest party, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, took only a quarter of the seats.
It nominated Habib Jemli as prime minister in November, but his proposed government failed to win parliamentary backing and lost a confidence vote on Jan. 10.
That meant President Saied, who was also elected in October, had the right to designate his own choice of prime minister to try to form a government.
Tunisia’s constitution splits power between the head of state and the government, leading to several periods in recent years of political struggles between them.