Talks with U.S. administration useless, Abbas says

Cheryl Sanders
April 15, 2019

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday swore in a new government headed by a loyalist from his dominant Fatah party, a move rejected by Hamas as a blow to unity efforts, Reuters reports.

Palestinian government ministers were sworn in for a second time on Sunday after a lawyer noticed that the oath they took the day before had been missing a phrase.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, an economist and longtime Abbas adviser, will serve as prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA). He was also a member of the Palestinian negotiating team.

But Hamas criticized the new government, saying the appointment of critics will "widen the Palestinian division at the expense of the Palestinian people's interests".

"As you know, we've been trying with our Arab brothers since 2007 to reach reconciliation and solve the Gaza issue", he said, adding that Hamas took over Gaza Strip.

"More developments will take place in the coming days but we will cooperate and confront it together because they are going to be hard", said Abbas.

The peace plan is being developed by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew whose close family ties to Netanyahu have heightened Palestinian suspicions over whether the U.S. administration can serve as an honest broker.

Since coming to power, Trump has proven to be perhaps the most pro-Israel American president in history, breaking with decades of global consensus to recognise Jerusalem as the country's capital and Israel's control over the Golan Heights.

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