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Palestine Prime Minister announces new reform package

April 23, 2024 at 7:43 pm

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa speaks during the first meeting with the new cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office in Ramallah, West Bank on April 02, 2024 [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Newly installed Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mustafa, announced a package of reforms on Tuesday aimed at strengthening the Palestinian Authority (PA) amid increased global pressure for a revival of political dialogue with Israel, Reuters reports.

Mustafa, appointed by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, earlier this year, said his government would introduce measures to improve transparency and fight corruption, overhaul the justice system and security sectors and improve public sector efficiency.

In addition, he said the health and education system would be improved, public finances strengthened and economic reforms implemented.

The reform pledges largely match promises previously made by his predecessor, Mohammed Shtayyeh, who announced his resignation in February, as the PA looked to build support for an expanded role amid Israel’s war against the group, Hamas, in Gaza.

The United States and other international partners have pressed the PA to implement sweeping reforms to restore confidence among Palestinians who have become deeply disillusioned with the body set up under the interim Oslo Peace Accords more than 30 years ago.

READ: Who is Mohammad Mustafa – the man who could be the next Palestinian PM?

The urgency to make reforms has increased as attention has turned towards the governance of Gaza, once Israel winds up its military campaign against Hamas following the 7 October attack on Israel led by fighters from the Hamas Movement.

Despite resistance from Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Washington and its allies say the PA must be involved in administering the enclave once Israeli troops pull out.

The United States and most Western countries say only a two-state solution, entailing an independent Palestinian State next to Israel, can offer the chance of a peaceful resolution to decades of conflict.

However, Abbas reacted angrily last week when Washington vetoed a Palestinian request for full United Nations membership, saying the PA would reconsider bilateral ties with the United States following the decision.

The PA has been grappling with a severe financial crisis which has left most public sector employees receiving only part of their normal salary for the past two years.

The crisis has worsened since the start of the war in Gaza as Israel has cut off some of the tax revenues it collects on the PA’s behalf, accusing the Authority of supporting Hamas.

READ: 485 Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks in West Bank since 7 October: Health Ministry