Palestinian president swears in new government
RAMALLAH - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new government led by a longtime ally who is critical of Gaza's Hamas rulers and a proponent of continuing peace talks with Israel.
Abbas, who heads the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, accepted the oath of office on Saturday from the new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh, a veteran peace negotiator.
The appointment of Ishtayeh is likely to deepen the rift between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that governs the Gaza Strip.
Outgoing Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah oversaw a unity government formed nearly five years ago with the goal of reaching a conciliation deal with Hamas. Ishtayeh's appointment reflects the failure of years of efforts to reconcile with Hamas.