Palestinian Authority gov’t could resign by Tuesday – report

Arab media are reporting that Hamas has given the OK for a new government to run Gaza after the war.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Arab media reported Sunday that a new, technocratic Palestinian government may be formed as soon as this week that could run Gaza after the war as well as the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) territory in Judea and Samaria.

Sky News Arabia cited Palestinian sources who said that Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh’s current government could resign by Tuesday, after Hamas indicated last week that it would give its permission for a group of professionals with no connection to any Palestinian political party to administer a reunified Palestinian Authority, including the Gaza Strip.

After an undefined “transitional” period, elections would then be held, said the media site.

Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Mousa Abu Marzook told a television station associated with Abbas rival Muhammad Dahlan on Thursday that Hamas is in favor of a technocratic government to manage Gaza once the war it instigated with Israel is over.

The Saudi Al-Arabiya news channel reported that the government would be headed by Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, the current chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund.

He cannot be said to be free of political ties, however.

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Although nominally Mustafa is an independent member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, he is a confidant of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He also serves as Abbas’ senior economic adviser, and even acted as the PA’s deputy prime minister in 2013-2014.

Mustafa does have an extensive financial background, with a doctorate in economics and management from Georgetown University, 15 years of work at the World Bank behind him, as well as two-year stints as economic adviser to the governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

As deputy prime minister, he also was appointed head of the PA’s commission to reconstruct the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ instigation of Operation Cast Lead in 2014.

Despite these news reports, the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the PA president saying that “No new government will be established.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated repeatedly that Israel would not allow Gaza to be run by the Palestinian Authority, given its support for terrorism and its refusal to condemn Hamas’ October 7 massacre of 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and further kidnapping of 253, of whom 134 are still being held captive in the Gaza Strip.

The Biden administration is very much in favor of a “rehabilitated and revised” Palestinian government taking over the Gaza Strip as part of a defined plan in is working on with other countries to establish a Palestinian state once the war is over.

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This move would go against the vast majority in Israel who do not trust that a Palestinian state would be willing to live in peace with the Jewish state. This opinion was reflected in a vote last week in the Knesset, where the unilateral imposition of a Palestinian state was rejected 99 to 11.