Abbas to reshuffle Palestinian government: official

File : Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during a presser following his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010. Talks come within the framework of efforts aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Amr Nabil)


RAMALLAH, Nov. 25 (KATAKAMI / Xinhua) — Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will reshuffle the government soon, a Fatah official said Thursday.

Abbas told a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah Wednesday that discussions to carry out the reshuffle have started, said Amin Maqboul, a member of the council.

Meanwhile, another Fatah official said on condition of anonymity that Abbas has agreed with his movement that Salam Fayyad, the current prime minister who is not a Fatah member, would lead the new government.

Fatah has always been demanding a reshuffle to take more senior portfolios into the government. Abbas asked Fayyad to form a government in June 2007, after Islamic Hamas movement routed pro- Abbas forces, ousted Fatah and seized control of the Gaza Strip.

“The ministerial change is a national demand that Fatah strongly supports,” Maqboul said, but he denied that Fatah aimed to take more ministries through the change.

Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza in 2007, one year after it won the parliamentary elections. The Hamas government, led by Ismail Haneya, which was deposed by Abbas, has refused to recognize the Fayyad government in the West Bank. (*)

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