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Date posted: November 09, 2010
By MIFTAH

On January 25th 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, was successful in its attempt to become the leading party within the Palestinian Authority.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, this victory went against all conceivable expectations. In three polls taken only weeks prior to the elections across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Fatah had shown that although their support was diminishing, it was still a substantial enough lead to repel any opposition.

Hamas (harakat al-muqawamah al islamiyyah) received 440,409 votes, a 44.5% of the electorate while their main rivals Fatah (harakat al-tahrir al-filastini), the Liberation Movement for Palestine, only managed 410,554 votes and a 41.43% of the electorate*. It was the first time in the 13 years since the Palestinian Authorityís inception that Fatah was not the dominant party.

On March 29th 2006, new Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced his Hamas dominated cabinet.

(*Information from the Central Election Commission)

PresidentMahmoud AbbasFATAH
Prime MinisterIsmail HaniyehHAMAS
Foreign MinisterDr. Mahmoud al-ZaharHAMAS
Finance MinisterDr. Omar Abdul-RazeqHAMAS
Interior and Civil Affairs MinisterSaid SeyamHAMAS
Health MinisterDr. Basem NaimHAMAS
Minister for the EconomyEngineer Alaeddin al-AírajHAMAS
Social Affairs MinisterFakhri TyrkmanINDEPENDENT
Minister for Prisoner AffairsWasfi Mustafa QabhaHAMAS
Deputy Prime Minister / Education MinisterDr. Naser Eddin al-ShaerHAMAS
Information MinisterDr. Yousef RizqaHAMAS
Minister for Woman AffairsDr. Mariam SalehHAMAS
Justice MinisterDr. Ahmad KhaldiINDEPENDENT
Minister for Telecoms / Information TechnologyEngineer Jamal al-KhudariINDEPENDENT
Minister for Public WorksAbdul Rahman ZeidanHAMAS
Minister for TourismEn. Joudeh George MurqosINDEPENDENT
Minister for CultureDr. Attallah Abul SabehHAMAS
Minister for TransportationEn. Ziad Al-ThatahHAMAS
Religious Affairs MinisterNayet RajoubHAMAS
Minister for PlanningSamir Abu EishehHAMAS
Agricultural MinisterDr. Mohammed al-AghaHAMAS
Minister without PortfolioEn. Khaled Abu ArafehHAMAS
Local Governance MinistryIssa JaíbariHAMAS
Minister for RefugeesAtef UdwanHAMAS
Labour MinisterMohammed BarghouthiHAMAS
Chief of CabinetMohammed AwadHAMAS

The ramifications of the Mecca Agreement: March 2007

In February 2007 Saudi King Abdullah hosted Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashal and Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The aim of the meeting was to come up with a solution to end the infighting that had resumed and intensified between the two factions.

After a few days of deliberation, Mashal and Abbas agreed to form a unity government which would attempt to bring the two groups together through cooperation and would establish a common Palestinian policy. The leaders also hoped that this sign of unity would compel the Western powers to release funds frozen after Hamas assumed power in March 2006. The Quartet (UN, EU, US and Russia) had failed to associate with a party that did not recognize Israelís right to exist, while the United States and Europe both included Hamas on their list of terrorist organizations.

On 17th March 2007, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced the national unity cabinet.

PresidentMahmoud AbbasFATAH
Prime MinisterIsmail HaniyehHAMAS
Deputy Prime MinisterAzzam al-AhmedFATAH
Finance MinisterSalam FayyadTHIRD WAY
Foreign MinsterZiad Abu AmrINDEPENDENT
Interior MinisterTalab al-QawasmiINDEPENDENT
Education MinisterNasser Eddin al-ShaerHAMAS
Information MinisterMustafa al-BarghouthiPalestinian National Initiative
Cultural MinisterBassam al-SalhiPalestinian Peopleís Party
Health MinisterRadwan al-AkhrasFATAH
Transport MinisterSaídi al-KrunzFATAH
Labour MinisterMahmoud al-AloulFATAH
Minister for Social AffairsSaleh ZeidanDemocratic Front for The Liberation of Palestine
Minister for Prisoner AffairsTaysir Abu SneinehFATAH
Minister for PlanningSamir Abu EishehHAMAS
Local Government MinisterMohammed al-BarghouthiHAMAS
Minister for Economic AffairsZiad al-ThathaHAMAS
Youth and Sports MinisterBasem NaimHAMAS
Minister for Telecoms / Information TechnologyYousef al-MansiHAMAS
Agricultural MinisterMohammed al-AghaHAMAS
Minister for TourismKhouloud DaibesINDEPENDENT
Minister for Public WorksSamih al-AbedFATAH
Justice MinisterAli al-SartawiHAMAS
Waqf and Religious Affairs MinisterHussein TartouriHAMAS
Minister for Woman AffairsAmal SyamHAMAS
Minister of StateWasfi QabhaHAMAS

Unified government dissolved and emergency government installed by PA President Abbas on 17th June 2007 following Gaza infighting.

The unity government proved ineffective in preventing the infighting between Fatah and Hamas and initially low level conflicts between the two groups gradually escalated from March to May into full blown confrontations.

During the latter stages of May, Interior Minister Talab al-Qawasmi, an individual respected by both Hamas and Fatah, frustrated at not being able to bridge the divide between the two groups, resigned.

On the 10th June, low level fighting quickly manifested into severe incursions as Hamas and Fatah transformed sporadic encounters into a violent five day war in Gaza. After a well organized and quick mobilization of forces across the whole of the Gaza Strip, Hamas went onto claim a decisive victory over their Fatah opponents with over a hundred Palestinians being killed in the fray. Hamas had completely taken control of the Strip and driven Fatah back to their stronghold in the West Bank. As a result, PA President Abbas dissolved the unity government and appointed former Finance Minister, Salam Fayyad, as Prime Minister. On 17th June, Salam Fayyad announced his Ďemergency cabinetí to function for a period of 30 days.

PresidentMahmoud AbbasFATAH
Prime Minister, Finance, and Foreign MinisterSalam FayyadTHIRD WAY
Interior and Civil Affairs MinisterAbdel Razak YehiyehFATAH
Agricultural and Local Government MinisterZiad BandakINDEPENDENT
Minister for Tourism and Woman AffairsKhouloud DaibesINDEPENDENT
Economic and Telecoms MinisterMohammed HassounehINDEPENDENT
Minister for Education and CultureLamis al-AlamiINDEPENDENT
Labour MinisterSamir AbdullahINDEPENDENT
Health MinisterAbdullah al-MurghiINDEPENDENT
Justice and Information MinisterRiyad al-MalkiINDEPENDENT
Religious and Social Affairs MinisterJamal BawatnehINDEPENDENT
Minister for TransportMashhour AbudakaINDEPENDENT
Minister for Prisoners, Youth and SportAshraf al-AjramiINDEPENDENT

Hamas has so far failed to recognize this interim Palestinian Authority cabinet, considering themselves to be the legitimate, democratically elected body within the West Bank and Gaza.

The West Bank and Gaza are now governed by two completely different entities. The Fatah sponsored Ďemergency governmentí of the Palestinian Authority, headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad holds the West Bank, while deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh continues to maintain his own government in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Unlike Palestinian Authority governments since January 2006, Israel and the Quartet have announced their willingness to work with the moderate West Bank ruling body of technocrats. Israel has already promised the release of Palestinian tax revenues, believed to be in the region of $350 million dollars and have also promised to release 250 Palestinian prisoners with Ďno blood on their handsí. These so-called gestures of goodwill are also aimed at consolidating the position of President Abbas in the West Bank.

UPDATE

While Hamas remains entrenched in a besieged Gaza Strip where it continues to run a de facto government, the current government in the West Bank, formed on May 19, 2009, is comprised of the following ministers:

PresidentMahmoud AbbasFATEH
Prime MinisterSalam FayyadINDEPENDENT
Minister of Foreign AffairsRiyad Al MalkiINDEPENDENT
Minister of InteriorSaed Abu AliFATEH
Minister of Education and Higher EducationLamis Al AlamiINDEPENDENT
Minister of AgricultureIsmail IdaikPALESTINIAN PEOPLE'S PARTY
Minister of Social AffairsMajida Al MasriDFLP
Minister of HealthFathi Abu MughliINDEPENDENT
Minister of LaborAhmad MajdalaniPPSF
Minister of JusticeAli KhashanINDEPENDENT
Minister of Awqaf and Religious AffairsMahmoud Al HabbashINDEPENDENT
Minister of TransportationSaadi Al KrunzFATEH
Minister of EconomyHassan Abu LibdehINDEPENDENT
Minister of Tourism and AntiquitiesKhuloud DaibesINDEPENDENT
Minister of Prisoner AffairsIssa Qaraqe'FATEH
Minister of Local GovernmentKhaled QawasmiFATEH
Minister of Women's AffairsRabiha DiabFATEH
Minister of Communications and Information TechnologyMashhour Abu DakkaINDEPENDENT
Minister of Planning and Administrative DevelopmentAli JarbawiINDEPENDENT
State Minister of Settlements and Wall AffairsMaher GhneimFATEH
Minister of CultureSiham BarghoutiFIDA

Read More ...

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Source: MIFTAH, 5 July. 2007
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