Palestinian unity government sworn in
The new unity government bridges the rift between Hamas and Fatah. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Adnan al-Husseini as an alert
Disable alert for Adnan al-Husseini,
Click here to add Gaza as an alert
Disable alert for Gaza,
Click here to add Hayfaa al-Agha as an alert
Disable alert for Hayfaa al-Agha,
Click here to add Jawad Awad as an alert
Disable alert for Jawad Awad,
Click here to add Jerusalem as an alert
Disable alert for Jerusalem,
Click here to add John Kerry as an alert
Disable alert for John Kerry,
Click here to add Khawlah Shakhshir as an alert
Disable alert for Khawlah Shakhshir,
Click here to add Mahmoud Abbas as an alert
Disable alert for Mahmoud Abbas,
Click here to add Muhammad as an alert
Disable alert for Muhammad,
Click here to add Nayif Abu Khalaf as an alert
Disable alert for Nayif Abu Khalaf,
Click here to add Ramallah as an alert
Disable alert for Ramallah,
Click here to add Riyad al-Maliki as an alert
Disable alert for Riyad al-Maliki,
Click here to add Rula Maya as an alert
Disable alert for Rula Maya,
Click here to add Salim al-Saqqa as an alert
Disable alert for Salim al-Saqqa,
Click here to add Sami Abu Zuhri as an alert
Disable alert for Sami Abu Zuhri,
Click here to add Shawqi al-Ayasa as an alert
Disable alert for Shawqi al-Ayasa,
Click here to add Shukri Bishara as an alert
Disable alert for Shukri Bishara,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington,
Click here to add Yousif Ideis as an alert
Disable alert for Yousif Ideis,
Click here to add Ziad Abu Amr as an alert
Disable alert for Ziad Abu Amr
President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the "end" of Palestinian division as a new government took its oath Monday under a unity deal between leaders in the West Bank and Gaza.
"Today, with the formation of a national consensus government, we announce the end of a Palestinian division that has greatly damaged our national case," Abbas said at his Ramallah headquarters after the new cabinet was sworn in.
"This black page in the history (of the Palestinians) has been turned forever, and we will not allow it to come back."
Hamas officials also welcomed the new government as one for "all Palestinians" after the cabinet, which is made up of political independents, was sworn in.
"We hail the national consensus government, which represents all the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
The new government, he said, was "a turning point... enabling us to unite the Palestinian effort to face the Israeli occupation".
There were no major changes to a list of names touted for key portfolio positions in the lead up to the announcement.
Hamdallah will remain as prime minister and minister of interior, while Ziad Abu Amr will be the deputy prime minister and minister of culture.
Muhammad Mustafa will be deputy prime minister and minister of national economy and Shukri Bishara was named as minister of finance and planning.
Riyad al-Maliki will remain as minister of foreign affairs, Salim al-Saqqa, from Gaza, will be minister of justice, and Adnan al-Husseini will be minister of Jerusalem affairs.
Rula Maya is minister of tourism and antiquities and Jawad Awad remains as minister of health.
Other key positions include Khawlah Shakhshir as minister of education and higher education, Mufeed al-Hasayna as minister of public works and housing, Allam Mousa as minister of telecommunications and transportation, and Shawqi al-Ayasa as minister of agriculture and social affairs.
Hayfaa al-Agha is minister for women, Mamoun Abu Shahla is minister of labor, Nayif Abu Khalaf is minister of local governance and Yousif Ideis is minister of endowment.
The government includes three women and five ministers who come from Gaza. Over the weekend, Israel blocked three of the Gazans from traveling to Ramallah for the oath-taking.
Abbas has pledged that the new administration will abide by the principles laid down by the Middle East peace Quartet: Recognize Israel, reject violence, and abide by all existing agreements.
Under terms of a deal inked on April 23, the PLO agreed to work with Hamas to establish an interim government of independents that would organize long-delayed elections.
The surprise agreement sought to end years of bitter and sometimes bloody rivalry which had seen the establishment of rival Palestinian administrations, with the West Bank ruled by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, and Gaza under Hamas authority.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Abbas to express "concern about Hamas's role in any such government," the State Department said.
There was no immediate reaction from Israel which has made no secret of its opposition to the unity agreement with Hamas.
"I call on all responsible elements within the international community not to hurry to recognize the Palestinian government that Hamas is part of," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Again on Monday, he hit out at Europe for demonstrating "ambiguity" to the idea of unity with Hamas, which is blacklisted by the European Union and Washington as a "terror organization."
Israel's security cabinet met overnight to discuss the new government, reconfirming an April decision to halt negotiations with any government backed by Hamas, newspapers reported on Monday. There was no comment from Netanyahu's office.