New Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who has served since 1998 as president of An Najah National University in Nablus, replaces
Though admired by Western nations for his financial acumen and political reforms, Fayyad, a political independent, was never fully embraced by the Palestinian public and was resented by the two main Palestinian factions, Abbas'
Fayyad also faced lingering budget deficits, which have beset the
Hamdallah, who is also a political independent, said his government would remain in office until mid-August, when Fatah and Hamas are due to complete long-delayed negotiations to form a unity government of technocrats, and then prepare for new presidential and parliamentary elections.
The two factions split violently in 2007, with Fatah forming a government in the West Bank and Hamas seizing control of the Gaza Strip. It remains to be seen whether a compromise on elections -- the first since 2006 -- will be reached because the factions remain deeply divided.
Most of the 24 Cabinet members sworn in Thursday came from the outgoing government. Nine new members were added, including the prime minister, his two deputies and the finance minister.
The two deputies are Mohammad Mustafa, head of the