Salam Fayyad’s new Palestinian emergency government and the beginning of its struggle against Ismail Haniya’s Hamas government

Palestinian prime minister Dr. Salam Fayyad shaking hands with Abu Mazen
at the swearing-in ceremony (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, June 18, 2007).


1. On June 17 the Palestinian emergency government was sworn in at the president’s office in Ramallah. 2The government is composed of 12 ministers (the prime minister holds two ministerial portfolios), most of them technocrats who identify with Fatah’s national trend. The government’s composition clearly indicates that it was formed to demonstrate the unification of a diversity of political and social forces as an alternative to Hamas . The first challenges of the government, whose ministers are barely known to the Palestinian public, will be to establish its status as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people (in the face of the Hamas government’s claim to legitimacy) and to enforce its authority in Judea and Samaria .

The composition of the emergency government

2. An examination of the emergency government’s composition indicates the following (for more detailed information see the Appendix ):

A. Most of its members are politically independent technocrats and professionals who identify with Fatah’s national trend. There are no prominent figures who enjoy the support of a political power base in Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.

B. Two of its ministers are Christian , the rest Muslim.

C. Two of its members are women (the ministers of tourism, and of culture and education).

D. The average age of the ministers is over 50 . Five of them are between 40 and 50 years old.

E. Most of the ministers come from urban backgrounds . One of the ministers is a resident of East Jerusalem ; one is a resident of a refugee camp.

F. Most of the ministers are from Judea and Samaria . Some of them were born in pre-1948 Israel . Two are from the Gaza Strip but live in the West Bank .

G. Almost all the ministers hold more than one portfolio , apparently because of the difficulty of finding suitable candidates. For example, Dr. Salam Fayyad is prime minister and holds, for the time being, three portfolios: prime minister, minister of foreign affairs and minister of the treasury.

H. A large number of ministers have university degrees , including MAs and PhDs.

3. Various individuals with good reputations who were requested to serve as ministers in the emergency government refused to do so. Among the names mentioned were that of former minister of justice, Farih Abu Mudein, and Palestinian Legislative Council members Intisar al-Wazir and Hanan Ashrawi (Filastin al-�An Website, June 16). The main reasons for the difficulties in finding suitable candidates are the doubts surrounding the government’s ability to survive and carry out its task and the criticism leveled at Abu Mazen and Muhammad Dahlan over the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip.

4. However, Tayib Abd al-Rahim, the secretary general of Abu Mazen’s office, noted in that regard that they were dealing only with the initial composition of the government and that in the future more ministers would join it (in the meantime, a minister of welfare and agriculture has been appointed).

The agenda and goals of the new government

5. At the government’s first session Abu Mazen presented its goals and stated that the government would bear full responsibility not only for Judea and Samaria but for the Gaza Strip as well . He noted that his government was legitimate and that there was �one police [force], one law and one legitimate gun for the entire homeland�� (Palestinian TV, June 17). The appointed prime minister, Salam Fayyad , said that the government would strive to enforce its rule over the Gaza Strip as well and would adhere to the PLO’s political principles and to the agreements the organization had signed (Al-Arabiya TV, June 17)

Swearing in the new Palestinian government (Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

6. In interviews with Arab and Palestinian media Dr. Salam Fayyad made it clear that the new government’s top priority would be to put and end to the anarchy and restore order and the rule of law (which at this stage is possible only in the West Bank). Another important goal would be to lift the economic and political embargo on the Palestinian Authority .

The struggle between the emergency government and
the Hamas government for legitimacy and control.


The establishment of the emergency government created the unique situation of two governments operating in the Palestinian Authority : the emergency government headed by Salam Fayyad, and subordinate to Abu Mazen, which in practice controls Judea and Samaria; and the Hamas government headed by Ismail Haniya, which controls the Gaza Strip and is run by Hamas’ military-wing operatives in the Gaza Strip and the Hamas leadership in Damascus. The struggle between the two governments has already begun, both contenders for legitimacy at home, in the pan-Arab and international arenas , both striving

8. Neither government recognizes the legitimacy of the other . Ismail Haniya and Hamas operatives have repeatedly stated that Abu Mazen’s actions are illegal and that the national unity government (which Abu Mazen dissolved) is the legal government.

9. Hamas operatives, especially after Abu Mazen’s June 20 speech, made a point of verbally attacking Abu Mazen and the emergency government. For example, Sami Abu Zuhri , a Hamas spokesman, said: �The emergency government is not national and not legal. It takes its legitimacy only from the [Israeli] occupation and the American administration. Ismail Haniya’s government exists in accordance with law and takes it legitimacy from the Palestinian Legislative Council, which did not pledge its loyalty any other government (Filastin al-�An Website, June 17).

10. Both governments began issuing mutually contradictory edicts and instructions as to the PA institutions and those heading them (especially the security institutions). For example:

A. Palestinian police chief Kamal al-Sheikh issued an order removing Brigadier Tawfiq Jabr from the ranks of the Palestinian police because he obeyed �illegitimate decisions� of the Hamas government (Palestinian News Agency, June 16).

B. Ismail Haniya issued an order canceling the appointment of Kamal al-Sheikh as police chief and ending the work of Rashid Abu Shubaq, the general director in internal security (Al-Aqsa TV, June 17).

C. On June 17 Abu Mazen issued an order according to which Hamas’ Executive Force and its militias (i.e., its military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades) were outlawed for having �carried out an armed insurrection against Palestinian legitimacy and its institutions� (Wafa News Agency, June 17).

D. The Palestinian ministry of communications issued an order to stop the Al-Aqsa TV satellite channel from broadcasting because was not legally licensed and �incited civil war and murder,� and �spread a culture of violence, extremism and hatred� (Wafa News Agency, June 14.

11. At the same time Hamas began taking steps to reorganize daily life in the Gaza Strip. It placed special emphasis on rehabilitating the security forces, especially the police . To that end, Ismail Haniya, who nominated himself minister of internal affairs, issued a series of edicts and decisions relating to the organizational structure of the police force and the security forces. He cancelled appointments, jobs and promotions, and returned all police to active duty.

12. The chairman of the high police council in the Gaza Strip, Brigadier Tawfiq Jabr, said that the police force would be fully operative within a week. He stated that police decisions were not related to political decisions or struggles and that the police force was subordinate to the minister of the interior, who was currently prime minister Ismail Haniya (Pal-media Website, June 16). As noted, that led to the removal of Tawfiq Jabr from his command.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri: The establishment of the
emergency government is contrary to the national consensus
and all Palestinian laws (Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

Egypt�s response to the establishment of the emergency government 3

13. The Egypt minister of foreign affairs praised the establishment of the new Palestinian emergency government and wished it success in its undertakings. He also called upon the Arab nations and the international community to provide it with the aid and support necessary to enable it to restore security and order to the Palestinian Authority (Middle East News Agency, June 17).

14. The establishment Egyptian press was especially critical of Hamas, claiming that its activities violated the country’s institutions �like those of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt ,� and noted that Egypt would oppose the emergence of �Islamic warlords� in the Gaza Strip .


The composition of the Palestinian emergency government

Prime Minister, Foreign and Treasury Ministers
Dr. Salam Khaled Abdallah Fayyad

•  Origins : Born in 1952 in the village of Dir al-Azun near Tulkarm, where he lives today.

•  Political affiliation : Third Way faction representative in Palestinian Legislative Council, he served as chairman of the financial committee of the Legislative Council.

•  Marital status : Married, father of three children.

•  Education : BA in engineering from the American University in Beirut , MA in accounting and PhD in economics from University of Texas .

•  Activities : The most prominent figure of the emergency government, he has a reputation in the international community as reliable.

•  1987, joined the World Bank in Washington .

•  1995-2001, served as International Monetary Fund representative in Jerusalem .

•  For a short time served as chairman of the board of the Arab Bank in Judea and Samaria .

•  2002-2005 , served as finance minister in the governments of Abu Mazen and Abu Alaa’, and succeeded in bringing a certain measure of stability to the PA’s budget and in promoting significant reforms.

•  2005, ran for the Palestinian Legislative Council, heading the Third Way slate. After Hamas rose to power served as chairman of the Legislative Council’s budget committee.

•  During the past year his involvement in politics increased and in December 2006 he was appointed as head of the PLO’s financial department, with the objective of increasing Abu Mazen’s control over the money the Palestinians received in support from abroad.

•  With the establish of the Palestinian national unity government in March 2007 he was appointed Minister of Finance.

Minister of the Interior and Civil Affairs
Abd al-Razaq Aqab Muhammad al-Yahya

The minister of the interior and civil affairs at the swearing-in ceremony
(Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1929 in Tantura (near Haifa ). Resides in Ramallah.

•  Marital status : Married, father of three children.

•  Political affiliation : Affiliated with Fatah.

•  Activities :

•  1948, joined the Rescue Army 4 and from there the Syrian army.

•  1965, joined the Palestinian Liberation Army.

•  1968-1972, commanded the PLO with the rank of major general.

•  Was PLO executive committee representative in Jordan .

•  Served as head of the PLO’s political department.

•  1993-1995, participated in Israel-PLO talks.

•  2002, appointed by Yasser Arafat as the fourth government’s minister of the interior dismissed shortly thereafter as a result of his inability to unite the security forces.

Minister of Transportation Mashhour Muhammad Abu Duqqa

The minister of transportation at the swearing-in ceremony

(Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1954 5 in the Gaza Strip into the Abasan clan from the Khan Yunis region. Resides in Ramallah.

•  Marital status : Married, father of three children.

•  Education : PhD in information technologies. Worked in research institutes and universities in Britain .

•  Political affiliation : Independent.

•  Activities : Businessman. Heads a number of computer companies. Taught in the engineering department of Bir Zeit University , directed scientific research for the Palestinian ministry of education. Was general director of the association of Palestinian information systems Companies in Ramallah and an advisor to the Palestinian communications ministry. Directs the Palestinian Information Technology Association for Companies Organization and is deputy director of the Palestinian Internet Association. Was advisor to foreign institutions, among them the UN Development Programme.

Minister of Tourism and Women�s Affairs
Khouloud Frances Khalil Daibes

•  Origins : Born in 1965 in Bethlehem , where she still lives. Christian, holds an East Jerusalem identity card .

•  Political affiliation : Affiliated with Fatah.

•  Marital status : Married.

•  Education : PhD in architecture from Hanover University , 1995. Specialized in the rehabilitation and preservation of the national legacy.

•  Activities :

•  1990-1992, worked for architectural firms in the PA and Germany .

•  1995-1997, directed a project to document historical buildings in the Bethlehem region.

•  1996-1998, advisor to the Bethlehem convention center.

•  1998, advisor of the ministry of planning’s emergency project for the preservation of cultural legacy in the West Bank .

•  1998-2000, directed a project for the rehabilitation of historical sites in the Bethlehem region.

•  2001, director of the center for cultural preservation in Bethlehem , the Bethlehem 2000 project.

•  2007, chosen to serve as minister of tourism in the Palestinian national unity government.

•  Director of the center of the cultural legacy preservation center in Bethlehem . Coordinates projects with the European Union for cultural preservation. Director of the Bethlehem historical site rehabilitation project. Member of the Palestinian and Jordanian engineers associations and of the Palestinian architects’ society.

Minister of Economy, Public Works and Communications
Muhammad Kamal Hasouna

The minister of economy, public works and communications at
the swearing-in ceremony (Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1945, 6 resides in Hebron .

•  Marital status : Married, father of four children.

•  Education : Law degree from the University of Cairo .

•  Political affiliation : Independent.

•  Activities : One of the most important industrialists in Hebron , founded several companies. Has held various positions in voluntary representative institutions in the private sector, among them the following: president of the Palestinian Metal Industry and Engineering Union; member of the board of directors of the General Federation of Palestinian Industries; president of the joint economic council of Palestine and Turkey ; chairman of the board of the Palestinian Development Fund. Was once a candidate for the post of mayor of Hebron .

Minister of Education and Culture Lameeis Mustafa al-Alami

The minister of education and culture at the swearing-in ceremony

(Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1943 in Jerusalem .

•  Political affiliation : Independent.

•  Education : BA in English (1964) and MA in English literature (1967) from Beirut University , MA in phonetics (1974) from Edinboro University .

•  Activities :

•  1966-1975, taught in the UNRWA girls’ college in Ramallah.

•  1983-1994, was the college’s assistant director.

•  1994, was the college’s director.

•  1994-2000, inspector of all UNRWA’s schools and colleges .

•  Director of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Citizens’ Rights, headed by Hanan Ashrawi. Member of the advisory council of the Al-Quds Open University. Member of the association for Arab studies, of the women’s center for legal and social guidance and others.

Minister of Planning and LaborDr. Samir Abdallah Dib Ali 

•  Origins : Born in 195o in the village of Abu Qashsh , north of Ramallah.

•  Education : BA in economics from the University of Jordan (1967) and a PhD in economics from the Charles University in Prague (1983).

•  Political affiliation : Affiliated with the Palestinian People’s Party. 7

•  Activities :

•  1984-1991, professor of economics at Al-Najah University .

•  1994, assistant to the deputy minister of economics, industry and commerce.

•  1996, director of the Palestinian Arab Investment Bank, and director of PalTrade, a private company which represents business in the private sector and seeks to facilitate and promote international business and trade with the world.�

•  2003, set up his own economic advisement company.

•  Is president of the Institute for Political and Economic Research.

•  Was a member of the Palestinian-Jordanian delegation to the Madrid talks in 1991 and of the Palestinian delegation to the multilateral talks. Joined those promoting the Geneva initiate and worked to enlist support for it.

•  Note : He was not at the swearing-in ceremony because he was out of the country. He was sworn in the following day.

Minister of Justice and InformationRiyad Najib al-Maliki

The minister of justice at the swearing-in ceremony
(Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1955 in Bethlehem .

•  Education : PhD in civil engineering from the American University in Beirut .

•  Political affiliation : Was a commander in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

•  Activities :

•  1978, headed the civil engineering section of the engineering department at Bir Zeit University .

•  1991, founded and headed the Palestinian Center for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development (PANORAMA) . 8

•  1995, a member of the Pugwash 9 executive council.

•  Has been awarded a number of international prizes, among them a European peace award in Copenhagen (2000), a democratic courage award from the World Movement for Democracy (2004) and an Italian peace award.

•  Lectured at many universities in Europe .

Minister of Islamic Endowments and Social AffairsJamal Muhammad Ahmad Bawatna

•  Origins : Born in 1957 in Ramallah.

•  Marital status : Married, father of seven children.

•  Education : MA in modern Islamic studies.

•  Activities : Independent politician and cleric. Served as Mufti for the Ramallah region.

Minister of Prisoners� Affairs, Youth and Sports
Ashraf Eid al-Ajrami

•  Origins : Born in 1961 in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

•  Education : BA in English.

•  Activities :

•  1994, headed the department for Israeli affairs in the Palestinian ministry of information and was deputy director of information abroad.

•  1994-1996, detained in Israel .

•  Columnist, writes about Israeli society and politics. His articles often appear in the Palestinian press. Has a column in the daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. Head of the Israeli desk at the Palestinian ministry of information.

Minister of Local Administration and Agriculture
Ziyad al-Bandak

The minister of local administration and agriculture at
the swearing-in ceremony (Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1960 of Jordanian extraction. Resides in Bethlehem ; Christian.

•  Marital status : Married, father of two children.

•  Education : MA electrical engineering from Germany .

•  Activities :

•  1986, returned to Judea and Samaria and opened a factory for manufacturing electronic boards.

•  1997-2005, deputy mayor of Bethlehem .

•  2005, for a short time was minister of tourism and archaeology in the Palestinian government.

•  Affiliated with Fatah. Was formerly active in the Palestinian communist party.

Minister of Health Fathi Abdallah Abu Maghli

The minister of health at the swearing-in ceremony
(Al-Jazeera TV, June 17).

•  Origins : Born in 1950 in Nablus to a family from Haifa .

•  Education : MD degree from the University of Athens , specializing in internal diseases in Greek hospitals.

•  Activities :

•  1998, directed international projects and coordinated international projects for the Palestinian ministry of health.

•  2000, directed a project for the development of the Palestinian health system funded by the World Bank, and inspected preparations for the national emergency health program.

•  2004, directed health projects for the Palestine office of the World Health Organization.

•  Published a book about disease research which served as a textbook for Jordanian universities, published a journal called Health and Life. Served as deputy chairman of the committee for higher research in the Palestinian medical council. A member of many professional committees.

Minister of Welfare and Agriculture
Mahmoud Sadqi Abd al-Rahman al-Habash

•  Origins : Born in 1963 in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Resides in the West Bank .

•  Marital status : Married, father of six children.

•  Education : MA in Islamic law fundamentals.

•  Political affiliation : Belonged to Hamas . Left in the 1990s and was one of the founders of the National Islamic Unity party.

•  Activities : Taught in the Al-Quds Open University. Was chairman of the Al-Sabil center for research and information, and the editor of journal Al-Itihad. Is secretary general of the National Islamic Unity party and hosts religious programs for Fatah-affiliated Radio Sawt al-Huria. Holds the rank of colonel in the intelligence service. Writes a weekly column for Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda.

•  Hamas spokesmen were severely critical of his appointment to the post of minister in the emergency government. He was given an epithet often given to criminals of those suspected of a crime. Al-Habash was accused of �not only being similar to the Jews but of also being completely loyal to them� (Filastin al-�An Website, June 20).