Arab Today, arab today new palestinian cabinet to be sworn in wednesday
Last Updated : GMT 18:35:19
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New Palestinian cabinet to be sworn in Wednesday

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today New Palestinian cabinet to be sworn in Wednesday

Ramallah - AFP

A reshuffled Palestinian cabinet in the West Bank with seven new faces is to be sworn in on Wednesday, labor minister Ahmad Majdalani told AFP. \"The government will be sworn in at (President Mahmud) Abbas\'s office at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT),\" he said. The new government has been on the cards since the previous cabinet resigned in February 2011, shortly after the Palestinian leadership announced it would hold legislative and presidential elections \"in the coming months.\" Abbas had tasked prime minister Salam Fayyad with forming a new government, but the process was put on ice after the surprise April announcement of a reconciliation deal between Abbas\'s Fatah movement and its Islamist rival Hamas. The agreement called for the creation of an interim cabinet of independents selected by the two factions which would prepare for elections that were rescheduled to happen by May 2012. But the deal has largely stalled, leaving the revamped government on hold and elections indefinitely postponed. According to a source in Fayyad\'s office, seven new ministers will take up the portfolios covering health, tourism, national economy, justice, agriculture, transportation and telecommunications. Although the new ministers have been chosen, the source said it was possible there could be changes before the swearing in ceremony. Majdalani confirmed there would be seven new ministers in what will be the 14th Palestinian cabinet. He said that the move to replace the old cabinet instead of bringing in the interim cabinet called for by the unity deal was a not a sign that the reconciliation process had collapsed. \"No, we still hope that the reconciliation will happen. But we need to reshuffle the government to deal with the population\'s everyday life,\" he said. But Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, reacted angrily to news of the new cabinet. \"This strengthens the division,\" Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told AFP. \"This government was built on corruption, and was not the choice of the Palestinian people and was not approved by the legislative council.\" Barhum said the move \"shows clearly to all that the Palestinian Authority and Fatah are far from the implementation\" of the unity agreement.

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