Abbas’ new Palestinian cabinet sends defiant message to Hamas

Abbas promoted a close Fatah colleague who slammed the Hamas terror group in the past, dimming the prospects for a detente in the ongoing bloody Fatah-Hamas feud.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new cabinet led by a longtime ally who is critical of Gaza’s brutal Hamas rulers and does not categorically oppose continuing negotiations with Israel.

Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority, accepted the oath of office on Saturday from the new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh.

While the Palestinians have not held elections in over 13 years, Abbas’ four-year-term appears poised to continue until his death.

The appointment of Ishtayeh is likely to deepen the rift between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules the Gaza Strip with an iron fist. Gazans who dare speak out against Hamas face beatings, extra-judicial executions, and torture.

Hamas systematically diverts humanitarian aid from projects serving Gaza residents’ basic needs to terror campaigns, using funds to build cross-border attack tunnels and purchase weapons. Hamas also enjoys massive amounts of military aid from Iran, serving as a terror proxy to attack Israel.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah oversaw a unity government formed nearly five years ago with the goal of reaching a conciliation deal with Hamas, which made little to no progress.

Ishtayeh’s appointment reflects the failure of years of efforts to reconcile with Hamas.