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Palestinian unrest versus Western ease over appointment of new Palestinian PM

February 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas nominated on Sunday the head of Al-Najah National University, Rami al-Hamadallah, as the new Palestinian prime minister with veteran politician, Ziad abu-Amre, and prominent economist, Mohammed Mostafa, as his deputies.

The Palestinian movement Fatah announced its absolute agreement on the nomination and said that the formation of this government is a step towards internal reconciliation. It also said it would be an interim government and that its role ends when reconciliation is achieved.

The head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Azzam al-Ahmad, said that al-Hamadalah’s government would work toward bringing an end to the internal division which would be finalized when reconciliation is achieved.

Meanwhile, all other Palestinian factions announced their rejection of the nomination of the new prime minister saying that the step would undermine reconciliation efforts. However, Hamas and some other analysts assert that they have objections to the individual himself.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front said that forming a new factional government in the West Bank would certainly lead to more distance among Palestinian factions.

While Hamas agrees on this point, it also insists that al-Hamadallah is one of the champions of security cooperation with the Israeli occupation.

Hamas criticised his security policy in running Al-Najah University as he approved of the sacking of several academics and students on political backgrounds.

A West Bank campaigning website, Ajnad, reported that several students from the university had spoken about their experiences with the man. They claim he is the first university president to agree to CCTV security cameras being installed on campus.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media and senior Western officials were reported to have praised him.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote: “A moderate academic on a suicide mission.”

The US Secretary of State said that al-Hamadallah’s nomination came at a “time which is full of challenges.” He said that “with this man, we can choose the path of negotiations which leads to the two-state solution.” He has good relations with US and EU officials.

The UK Secretary of State also phoned al-Hamadallah and congratulated him on his nomination to the 15th Palestinian government. William Hague hoped that he would help in reaching a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Al-Hamadallah said he is going to “work for the sake of the national cause seeking freedom and independence through the establishment of the Palestinian state on Palestinian land with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

He clearly informed the Palestinian News Agency Wafa that he would be sticking to Abbas’ political views and policies in their entirety.