Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh’s New PA Government (Initial Examination, April 18, 2019)

Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Shtayyeh and other members of his government swear loyalty in Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, April 13, 2019).

Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Shtayyeh and other members of his government swear loyalty in Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, April 13, 2019).

The first meeting of the new Palestinian government, chaired by Mahmoud Abbas (Wafa, April 13, 2019).

The first meeting of the new Palestinian government, chaired by Mahmoud Abbas (Wafa, April 13, 2019).

Overview

On April 13, 2019, the new Palestinian government was sworn in, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh. So far 20 ministers have been appointed, but more may be added (ministers of internal affairs and of the waqf – the Muslim endowment) have not yet been appointed, possibly because of internal conflicts). It is a government of technocrats who lack deep roots in in the Palestinian public. Dr. Shtayyeh, the prime minister, is an economist and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee. Most of the ministers are Fatah members or independents, some of them affiliated with Fatah. However, influential Fatah members, who have a public power base, were not appointed. In addition, prominent organizations, such as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) are not represented, because from the beginning they refused to participate. On the other hand, small, unimportant organizations (the Palestinian Struggle Front, FIDA, the Palestinian People’s Party) are included, but their participation in the government does not obscure Fatah’s predominance.

  • An analysis of the profiles of the new government’s ministers reveals that most of them are Muslim (16), male (17), have advanced degrees (11 PhDs) They live in cities in Judea and Samaria (only three come from the Gaza Strip), and most of them are in their 40s and 50s. Two were imprisoned in Israel for terrorist activities during the first intifada. (Biographical information appears in Appendix A and B).
  • Hamas, the PIJ, the PFLP and the DFLP strongly criticized the formation of the new government. They claimed it worsened the internal Palestinian schism and only served the interests of Fatah. Such a government, they said, could be expected to widen the rift between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as Trump’s “deal of the century” approached, and could not meet the challenges the Palestinian people would have to face. In response, Fatah spokesmen represented the government as “the government of the people,” representing all strata of society. It would, according to Mahmoud Abbas, be able to deal with the “many difficult and complicated” tasks expected in the near future.
Formation of the new government
  • On April 13, 2019, the new PA government was sworn in, headed by Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee. The following day, April 14, 2019, Ibrahim Melhem, spokesman for the new government, announced the government had been sworn in again because a sentence (dealing with the Palestinian people’s national heritage) had been left out of the original oath (Filastin al-Yawm, April 14, 2019). Meeting with the new government, Mahmoud Abbas said the near future would hold “many difficult and complicated” tasks for the Palestinians, but the Palestinians would join forces to deal with them (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
  • Among the members of the new government are former ministers: Shukri Bishara remains minister of finance and planning; Riyad al-Maliki continues as foreign minister; and Rula Maayah continues as minister of tourism and antiquities. Also continuing are deputy prime ministers Ziad Abu Amr and Nabil Abu Rudeineh, who is also minister of information. According to government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem, appointing ministers of the interior and of the waqf (Muslim endowment) is currently under discussion (Dunia al-Watan, April 14, 2019). According to an edict issued by Mahmoud Abbas, until they are appointed the positions will be filled by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh.
Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr (Wafa, April 13, 2019).    Incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh (left) and outgoing Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (Shehab Facebook page, April 14, 2019).
Right: Incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh (left) and outgoing Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (Shehab Facebook page, April 14, 2019). Left: Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
  • In addition to ministers, Dr. Amjad Ghanem was appointed government secretary general, with ministerial standing. Ibrahim Melhem, a journalist, was appointed as government spokesman. He was formerly chairman of the Palestinian radio and television authority and the editor-in-chief of the Ma’an New Agency. His most recent position was general supervisor of the al-Quds newspaper (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
Ibrahim Melhem, government spokesman (Wafa, April 13, 2019).   Dr. Amjad Ghanem, government secretary general.
Right: Dr. Amjad Ghanem, government secretary general. Left: Ibrahim Melhem, government spokesman (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
Muhammad Shtayyeh interviewed shortly after the ceremony (Muhammad Shtayyeh's Facebook page, April 13, 2019).    Members of the new Palestinian government at the swearing-in ceremony held in Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
Right: Members of the new Palestinian government at the swearing-in ceremony held in Mahmoud Abbas’ office in Ramallah (Wafa, April 13, 2019). Left: Muhammad Shtayyeh interviewed shortly after the ceremony (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, April 13, 2019).
  • Interviewed by Palestinian TV, Muhammad Shtayyeh said their goal was to restore the people’s faith in the government. He claimed the ministers represented all the classes of the Palestinian people. He also said that in forming the government it was important to appoint ministers who represented the various organizations and geographical areas, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It was also important, he said, to choose businessmen, Muslims, Christians, and women. The government would serve the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, work to end the schism and hold elections. He also said the government would leave the door open to the other organizations (Palestinian TV, April 13, 2019).
  • Government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem welcomed the new government, which he represented at “a government of the people.” He added that Hamas’ rejection of the government was unacceptable, and that the government would strive to bring all the Palestinian organizations closer within the PLO. He said Mahmoud Abbas would protect the government from attacks and deal with future challenges, and would not sign any decision that was not taken to defend the rights of the Palestinian people (Palestinian TV, April 13, 2019).
Reactions from the organizations opposing to the government
  • Hamas, the PIJ, and the PFLP, none of which joined the government, strongly criticized its formation.
    • Hamas said the new government was a continuation of the PA’s isolationist policies, and worsened the internal Palestinian schism. According to Hamas, the government serves the interests of Fatah at the expense of the interests of the Palestinian people. In addition, the government will only widen the rift between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a step towards the “deal of the century” (Hamas website, April 13, 2019).
    • Senior PIJ figure Khaled al-Batash said the new government was not capable of struggling against “Israel’s aggression” in the West Bank and could not end the “strategy of detentions” of West Bank residents [i.e., the detention of Hamas and PIJ operatives and supporters] (Sawa, April 13, 2019).
    • Jamil Muzher, a member of the PFLP’s political bureau, criticized the lack of variety behind the organizational affiliation of the ministers of the new government. He said the government would not be able to deal with the challenges facing the Palestinians and would continue to obey Israel’s dictates (al-Mayadeen, April 13, 2019).
Appendix A
A Profile of the 18th Palestinian government

Overview

An analysis of the profiles of the new government’s ministers shows that like the previous one, headed by Rami Hamdallah, it is a government of technocrats. Most of the ministers are either Fatah members or independents, some of them affiliated with Fatah. Small, marginal Palestinian organizations are represented (the Palestinian Struggle Front, FIDA, the Palestinian People’s Party). On the other hand, prominent organizations like Hamas, the PIJ, the PFLP and the DFLP are not represented because from the beginning they refused to participate.

  • An analysis of the new government’s ministers indicates the following:
    • Religious distribution: 16 Muslims and four Christians.
    • Gender distribution: Mostly male. There are three women, two Christian and one Muslim.
    • Education: Most of them have graduate degrees, 11 with PhDs.
    • Geographic distribution: Most are from Judea and Samaria, mainly from cities. Only one minister (culture) comes from the Jabalia refugee camp (Gaza Strip).[1] Among the ministers are three from the Gaza Strip (two of whom do not currently live there), three from Hebron, one from east Jerusalem. The family of one of the ministers originally came from Tarshiha, in the upper Western Galilee, Israel.
    • Ages: Most of the ministers in their 40s and 50s. Some are 60 and older.
    • Organizational affiliation: Eight ministers are members of Fatah and most of them either held or hold senior positions in the Fatah movement. Nine are designated as independent but some are affiliated with Fatah (one was formerly a Fatah member). Three are members of the Palestinian Struggle Front, FIDA and the Palestinian People’s Party. Two were imprisoned in Israel because of terrorist activities during the first intifada (Riad Atari, minister of agriculture; and Atef Abu Seif, minister of culture).
Government Members

No.

Name

Role

Origin/ Residence

Religion

Organization/ Affiliation

Profession

Notes

1

Nabil George Odeh Abu Rudeineh

Deputy prime minister and minister of into

Lives in Bethlehem

Christian

Fatah

Spokesman and information minister

Same role as in the Hamdallah government

2

Dr. Riyad Najib Abd al-Rahman al-Maliki

Minister of foreign affairs

Lives in Tulkarm

Muslim

Independent

Engineer

Same role as in the Hamdallah government

3

Shukri Ass’ad Shukri Bishara

Minister of finance and planning

Family originally from Tarshiha

Christian

Independent

Economist

Was a minister in the Hamdallah government

4

Dr. Mohammad Shalaldeh

Minister of justice

Lives in Seir (near Hebron)

Muslim

Fatah

Jurist, academic

 

5

Dr. Ahmad Abd al-Salam Hassan Majdalani

Minister of social affairs

Born in Damascus

Muslim

Secretary general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front

Economist and political scientist

 

6

Rula Nabil Jibran Maayah

Minister of tourism and antiquities

Born in Jerusalem, lives in Damascus

Christian

Fatah

Was director general of the justice ministry

Same role as in the Hamdallah government

7

Fadi Arafat Salim Hidmi

Minister of Jerusalem affairs

Lives in East Jerusalem

Muslim

Independent

Business manager

 

8

Dr. Amal Tawfiq Abd al-Hadi Hamad

Minister of women’s affairs

Born in the Gaza Strip

Muslim

Fatah

PhD in education

 

9

Khaled Zuheir Khaled Osseili

Minister of national economy

Lives in Hebron

Muslim

Independent

Business-man

 

10

Riad Mohammad Yusuf Atari

Minister of agriculture

From Arabeh in the Jenin district

Muslim

FIDA

Held various public offices

Activist during the first intifada. Arrested several times by Israeli security forces.

11

‘Assem Ghaleb Hafez Salem

Minister of trans-portation

Lives in Nablus

Muslim

Independent (formerly Fatah activist)

Administrat-ive roles

 

12

Dr. ‘Atef Talal Ibrahim Yusuf Abu Seif

Minister of culture

Lives in the Gaza Strip

Muslim

Fatah

PhD in political science; worked in foreign ministry

Participated in the first intifada. Arrested by Israel.

13

Majdi Hafez Abdallah Saleh

Minister of local government

Lives in Nablus region

Muslim

Fatah

Engineer; held various public offices

 

14

Dr. Mohammad Salim Ziyara

Minister of public works and housing

Lives in the Gaza Strip

Muslim

Independent

Engineer; university lecturer

 

15

Dr, Mahmoud Abu Moueis

Minister of higher education and scientific research

Lives in Jenin

Muslim

Independent

Dentist

 

16

Dr. Marwan Masoud Muhammad Awartani

Minister of education

Lives in Tulkarm

Muslim

Independent

Scientist; academic

 

17

Dr. Mai Salem Hanna Kaileh

Minister of health

Lives in Bir Zeit

Christian

Fatah

Doctor

Serves as PA representative in Italy

18

Dr. Nasri Khalil Salim Abu Jish

Minister of labor

Lives in Beit Dajan (Nablus region)

 

Palestinian People’s Party

Dentist

Serves as diplomat

19

Usama Hassan Sa’ad Sadawi

Minister of state

Lives in Rafah

Muslim

Independent

Engineer

 

20

Dr. Ishaq Mohammad Sharif Abd Alhi Sadr

Minister of media and IT

Lives in Hebron

Muslim

Fatah

Engineer

 

 

Appendix B
Biographical data about the government members
  • Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Muhammad Shtayyeh
    • Place and date of birth: Born in the village of Tell (Nablus district) in 1958.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah; member of its Central Committee.
    • Education: BA in economics and business administration from Bir Zeit University. PhD in the study of economic development from Sussex University.
    • Professional experience: Taught at Bir Zeit University; was PA minister of labor and public works. Elected to Fatah’s Central Committee in the movement’s 2009 and 2016 elections. Headed the Palestinian economic delegation to the negotiations with Israel. Has written many books about economics and politics (Wafa, March 10, 2019).

Mahmoud Abbas appoints Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh to form the new government  (Wafa, April 10, 2019).
Mahmoud Abbas appoints Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh to form the new government
(Wafa, April 10, 2019).

 

  • Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Muhammad Hussein Abu Amr
    • Place and date of birth; residence: Born in the Gaza Strip in 1950; lives in Ramallah.
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent. Member of the PLO’s Executive Committee.
    • Education: Went to high school in Alexandria, Egypt. BA in English language and literature from the University of Damascus, 1973. BA in Arab Studies, 1979, and PhD in philosophy and comparative politics in 1985 from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
    • Professional experience: Taught political science at Bir Zeit University and at a number of Arab universities. Is associated with a number of Arab and international research and political organizations. Was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council as an independent candidate in the 1996 elections and held the position of chairman of its political committee. Was re-elected in the 2006 elections. Was minister of culture in Mahmoud Abbas’ government in 2003 and foreign minister in the national unity government formed by Isma’il Haniyeh in 2007. Has been PA deputy prime minister since 2013 (The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA); the Palestinian government website; aljazeera.net October 20, 2014).

Ziad Abu Amr
(WAFA, April 13, 2019)
Ziad Abu Amr
(WAFA, April 13, 2019)

  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information, Nabil George Odeh Abu Rudeineh
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Bethlehem in 1952; Christian.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah; member of Fatah’s Central Committee.
    • Professional experience: Was advisor to senior Fatah leader Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad). Later was spokesman for Yasser Arafat. After Arafat’s death remained as spokesman for the office of the Palestinian president, a position he still holds. Head of Fatah’s information, culture and indoctrination commission and official Fatah spokesman (Twitter account of Muneir al-Jaghoub, the head of the information office in Fatah’s bureau of mobilization and organization, July 29, 2018). Continues as deputy prime minister and minister of information, appointed in August 2018 (Wafa, August 2, 2019).

Nabil Abu Rudeineh 
(al-Quds, May 8, 2018)
Nabil Abu Rudeineh
(al-Quds, May 8, 2018)

  • Foreign Minister Riyad Najib Abd al-Rahman al-Maliki
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Tulkarm in 1955.
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent.
    • Education and profession: Engineer. BAs in civil engineering from the Pontifical Xavierian University in Colombia. MA and PhD in civil engineering from American universities.
    • Professional experience: Taught civil engineering and later chaired the civil engineering department at Bir Zeit University. Was also a member of the oversight committee of the Orient House in Jerusalem. In 1991 founded the Panorama Institute for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development and was its director general until June 2007. June to August 2007 was justice minister in the first Salam Fayyad government formed after the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. Was minister of information and government spokesman from September 2007 to May 2009. Was foreign minister and minister of Palestinians in the Palestinian dispersal in the subsequent governments. Since 2016 has been chairman of the board of directors of the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA). For years had a weekly column in the PA’s organ, al-Ayam (English website of the PA foreign ministry, April 19, 2018; Palestinian government website).

Riyad al-Maliki
 (al-Andalou News, March 9, 2019)
Riyad al-Maliki
(al-Andalou News, March 9, 2019)

  • Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Ass’ad Shukri Bishara
    • Place of birth: Family originally from Tarshiha in the upper Western Galilee, Israel; Christian (Kalam website, July 18, 2015).
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent.
    • Education and profession: BA in economics from the American University in Beirut; BA in jurisprudence from London University; MA in economics from London University. Economist.
    • Professional experience: Director general of the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance since March 2007. Previously held various managerial posts in the Arab Bank. Also held managerial positions in Arab and Palestinian companies, including the Palestinian electric company and Paltel. Chaired the board of the Palestinian Investment Fund, 2006 to 2008 (Bloomberg website; Ultra Palestine website, April 13, 2019). Was minister of finance in all the Rami Hamdallah governments, beginning June 2013, and minister of planning in the most recent government (Palestinian government website).


Shukri Bishara
 (Wafa, April 13, 2019).
Shukri Bishara
(Wafa, April 13, 2019).

  • Minister of Justice Mohammad Fahed Sabri Abd al-Rahman Shalaldeh
    • Place of birth: Comes from the town of Seir in the Hebron region (Seir Town Facebook page. April 11, 2019).
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah. Head of the Fatah office in al-Quds University (Fatah office in al-Quds University Facebook page, March 29, 2019).
    • Education and profession: Jurist. MA in international law from the international law department of the state university of Azerbaijan in Baku [apparently Baku State University]. Wrote his PhD thesis on “The policy and activities of the Zionist Movement: gross violation of the principles of international law.” PhD in diplomatic law from the same university in 1987 (biographical page of Shalaldeh on the law department website of al-Quds University).
    • Professional experience: Member of the law faculty of al-Quds University in Abu Dis. Taught law at a number of Palestinian universities. Dean of the law department at al-Quds University and dean of the faculty of law and police affairs at al-Istaqlal University (Wafa, April 13, 2019). Is director general of the authority of academic and administrative councils of al-Quds university and deputy chairman of the Palestinian Academic Council (Ultra Palestine website, April 13, 2019).

Mohammad Shalaldeh
 (Facebook page of the Fatah office in al-Quds University, March 29, 2019)
Mohammad Shalaldeh
(Facebook page of the Fatah office in al-Quds University, March 29, 2019)

  • Minister of Social Affairs Dr. Ahmad Abd al-Salam Hassan Majdalani
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Damascus in 1955.
    • Organizational affiliation: Secretary general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front since 2009, which he joined in 1970. Member of the PLO’s Central Council since 1993 and of its Executive Committee since 2009.
    • Education and profession: BA in political science from the Lebanese University, 1978, and PhD in the philosophy economics from Bulgaria, 1987. Economist and political scientist.
    • Professional experience: 1992 to 1994 was advisor to Yasser Arafat’s office. 1994 to 1995 was director of the PLO’s department of pro-Arab and international relations. 1995 to 1998 headed the department of inter-Arab, international public relations of the Palestinian ministry of labor. 1998 to 2000 was the ILO’s national director of the Palestinian employment program. February 2002 to February 2005 was an advisor to Yasser Arafat. February 2005 to January 2006 was minister for settlement and fence affairs in the last government of Ahmed Qureia. March 2008 to May 2009 was Palestinian ambassador to Romania. May 2009 to June 2014 was minister of labor in the Fayyad and Hamdallah governments (Palestinian government website). Currently head of the PLO’s labor and planning department (PLO labor and planning department website, October 11, 2019).

Ahmad Majdalani
 (Palestinian Popular Struggle Front website)
Ahmad Majdalani
(Palestinian Popular Struggle Front website)

  • Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rula Nabil Jibran Maayah
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Jerusalem, but does not hold an Israeli ID. Her family lives in Ramallah but she lives in Bethlehem with her businessman husband.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah activist. During her studies was active in the leadership of the Shabiba (Fatah’s student movement). Was one of the Shabiba founders in Judea and Samaria and was responsible for the organization’s international relations.
    • Education: Studied biology in Bir Zeit University in 1988.
    • Professional experience: Worked in Fatah’s ministry of youth and sport and in 1995 moved to the department of international relations and worked there until 2005. Received a BA in public administration from Bethlehem University in cooperation with the University of Milan. Moved to the ministry of justice and was director general between 2008 and 2012 until appointed minister. Has been minister since the last Salam Fayyad government, May 2012 (Palestinian government website; Facebook page of Bethlehem journalist Najib Faraj, April 7, 2017; The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) website, September 15, 2016; Ultra Palestine website, April 13, 2019).

Rula Maayah
 (Rula Maayah Facebook page, October 17, 2019)
Rula Maayah
(Rula Maayah Facebook page, October 17, 2019)

  • Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Arafat Salim Hidmi
    • General information: Lives in east Jerusalem in the al-Sawana neighborhood. Son of Dr. Arafat Salim al-Hidmi, chairman of the administrative board of the al-Maqassed Islamic Charitable Society in Jerusalem (Facebook page of the al-Maqassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital Jerusalem, April 11, 2019).
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent
    • Education and profession: Studied at St. George’s School (Madrasat al-Mutran) in Jerusalem. BA in business administration from the American University in Cairo, MA in management and implementation of development projects from Manchester University. Business manager
    • Professional experience: 2001 to 2002 directed projects for The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) from its Wadi Joz offices in east Jerusalem. 2005 to 2008 was a programs analyst for UNDP. January 2009 to April 2011 was responsible for grants at Chemonics International (a private international development company based in Washington, DC, that manages projects in developing countries). April 2011 to January 2013 worked for the Catholic Relief Services, and American aid organization. July 3013 to May 2018 was director general of the Arab Office of Commerce and Industry of Jerusalem. As of 2019 is the owner and director of the JNR Trade and Investment company, a private company founded in Ramallah in April 2018. Also works as an economic consultant (Fadi Hidmi’s Facebook page; Facebook page of the Jerusalem magazine al-‘Asima, April 11, 2019). Also member of the board of directors of the Hilal Jerusalem Sport Club (Club Facebook page, June 1, 2018).

Fadi al-Hidmi (left) and Muhammad Shtayyeh
 (Facebook page of Tamer Abu Tujan, who represents himself as al-Hidmi's cousin, April 13, 2019)
Fadi al-Hidmi (left) and Muhammad Shtayyeh
(Facebook page of Tamer Abu Tujan, who represents himself as al-Hidmi’s cousin, April 13, 2019)

  • Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Amal Tawfiq Abd al-Hadi Hamad
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, in 1963.
    • Organizational affiliation: Senior Fatah figure in the Gaza Strip. Member of the northern Gaza Strip Fatah branch since the early days of the PA, advanced through the ranks of Fatah until chosen to the movement’s Revolutionary Council in 2009. Appointed to Fatah’s Central Committee in 2010, holding the position of commissioner of welfare until 2016, then elected to the new Central Committee.
    • Education: BA in mathematics and education from Bir Zeit University. Teaching certificate from the science faculty of al-Aqsa University in 1997, certificate in educational psychology from the education faculty of al-Aqsa University in 1998. MA from Ain Shams University in Cairo and PhD in educational psychology from Ain Shams University.
    • Professional experience: Chairman of the General Union of Palestinian Women in the Gaza Strip since 2007 (Amal Hamad’s Facebook page; Gazan journalist Hashem Saqalla’s blog, September 15, 2016; Wafa, April 13 ,2019).

Amal Hamad 
(Amal Hamad's Facebook page, December 3, 2018)
Amal Hamad
(Amal Hamad’s Facebook page, December 3, 2018)

  • Minister of National Economy Khaled Zuheir Khaled Osseili
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Hebron in 1947. Lives in Hebron; born in 1947.
    • Organizational affiliation: Businessman. Independent. Member of the Palestinian National Council since 1995.
    • Education and profession: BA in business administration from Ain Shams University in Cairo, 1970.
    • Professional experience: Participated in founding many private Palestinian companies, including the al-Osseili contracting and commerce company which participated in the construction of the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron. With the establishment of the PA, participated in founding Paltel and was one of its first board of directors, and of the Jawal company as well. Participated in the founding of the Arab-Palestinian company for investment and in the Gaza Power Generation Company (GPGC), a subsidiary of the Palestinian Electric Company. 1996 to 1999 was on Paltel’s board of directors. 2002 to 2005 was on the board of directors of the Palestinian Monetary Authority. 2008 to 2012 was on the board of directors of Fund for Loans and Development of the Local Councils. 2010 to 2014 was on the board of directors of Palestinian Pension Fund. 1976 to 2003 was the deputy mayor of Hebron. 2007 to 2012 was the mayor of Hebron.
    • In addition, holds or held various other positions, including vice chairman of the board of directors of Arab-Palestinian Investment Company (APIC), chairman of the board of directors of the National Aluminum and Profile Company (NAPCO), sits on the board of directors of the Gaza electric company, sits on the board of trustees of the Middle East University in Jordan, has sat on the board of trustees of al-Quds University, and has sat on the board of trustees of the Palestinian Institute for Political and Economic Research since 2015 al-Iqtisadi, April 14, 2019; Palestinian Economic portal, April 14, 2019).
Osseili peaking at a meeting of the role of the private sector in supporting Jerusalem (Facebook page of the PA's ministry of national economy, April 15, 2019).    Incoming minister Khaled Osseili with the outgoing minister (Facebook page of the PA's ministry of national economy, April 14, 2019).
Right: Incoming minister Khaled Osseili with the outgoing minister (Facebook page of the PA’s ministry of national economy, April 14, 2019). Left: Osseili peaking at a meeting of the role of the private sector in supporting Jerusalem (Facebook page of the PA’s ministry of national economy, April 15, 2019).
  • Minister of Agriculture Riad Mohammad Yusuf Atari
    • Place of birth: Born in the town of Arabeh in the Jenin district.
    • Organizational affiliation: Member of the political bureau of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) and is its representative in the new government. Member of the Palestinian National Council. During his studies was the DFLP representative in the student council, headed at the time by Marwan Barghouti. Ehud Barak, at the time Commander of the IDF’s Central Command, ordered him put under house arrest. Played an important role in the first intifada leadership. Escaped a targeted killing on March 16, 1988. Detained more than a dozen times and spent a number of years in Israeli jails. Was one of FIDA’s founders. Elected to its Central Committee and later to the Executive Committee.
    • Education: MA from Bir Zeit University.
    • Professional experience: Worked in the Palestinian Youth and Sport Ministry and reached the position of aide to the deputy minister. After resigning from the ministry was a candidate in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, representing Jenin. Was the administrative director of the Palestinian Youth Association until appointed minister (Fida Facebook page, April 10, 2019; Palestinian Youth Association Facebook page, April 14, 2019).

Riad Atari 
(FIDA Facebook page, April 10, 2018)
Riad Atari
(FIDA Facebook page, April 10, 2018)

  • Minister of Transportation ‘Assem Ghaleb Hafez Salem
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Nablus in 1958.
    • Organizational affiliation: Was a Fatah activist, but ran as an independent in the mayoral elections in 2012, after which he was ousted from the movement (Sama, October 3, 2012).
    • Education: BA in economic and business administration from Bir Zeit University.
    • Professional experience: 1982 to 1998 held various administrative positions in al-Najah University. 1991 to 1992 chaired the union of faculty members at the Palestinian University. Was a member of the Nablus regional council twice between 2012 and 2017. Worked in commerce and headed the Association of the Friends of al-Najah University, which supports students and graduates (‘Alaa Ghaleb al-Jitan’s Facebook page, April 14, 2019; Essam Salem’s Facebook page; Wafa, April 13,2019).

'Assem Salem
 (Essam Salem's Facebook page, April 13, 2019)
‘Assem Salem
(Essam Salem’s Facebook page, April 13, 2019)

  • Minister of Culture Dr. ‘Atef Talal Ibrahim Yusuf Abu Seif
    • Place and date of birth: Born in the Jabalia refugee camp in 1973.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah spokesman since February 2018 (website of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, February 5, 2018). Was a Fatah operative during the first intifada and was wounded three times. Was imprisoned in Israel because of his terrorist activities.
    • Education and profession: BA in English literature and diploma in translation from Bir Zeit University. MA in political science from the University of Bradford in England and a PhD in political science from the European University in Florence, Italy. Writer.
    • Professional experience: Worked in various departments of the Palestinian foreign ministry. In 2015 worked in Mahmoud Abbas’ office. Was a member of Fatah’s Shabiba movement at Bir Zeit University. Was later part of the leadership of the Fatah branch in the northern Gaza Strip and Fatah’s bureau of organization and mobilization in the Gaza Strip. Writer, playwright and columnist. Wrote for Siyasat, the publication of the Institute for Public Policies (IPP) in Ramallah (palsawa, March 15, 2019).

'Atef Abu Seif 
('Atef Abu Seif's Facebook page, October 27, 2018)
‘Atef Abu Seif
(‘Atef Abu Seif’s Facebook page, October 27, 2018)

  • Minister of Local Government Majdi Hafez Abdallah Saleh
    • Place of birth: The village of al-Nassariya in the Nablus district.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah.
    • Education and profession: BA in civil engineering. Engineer
    • Professional experience: In 2015 elected to chair the engineers’ union in the West Bank representing Fatah’s Palestinian engineers’ list. Held the position until the 2018 elections (Town of al-Nassariya Facebook page, March 27, 2015; Wafa, April 13, 2019). In was 2017 elected director general of the Palestinian Engineers’ Union (Palestinian Engineers’ Union in the West Bank website, November 18, 2017).

Incoming minister Majdi Saleh (right) with the outgoing minister
 (Facebook page of the PA ministry of local government, April 14, 2019).
Incoming minister Majdi Saleh (right) with the outgoing minister
(Facebook page of the PA ministry of local government, April 14, 2019).

  • Minister of Public Works and Housing Dr. Mohammad Salim Ziyara
    • Place of birth: Gaza Strip.
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent
    • Education and profession: BA in civil engineering from Alexandria University, MA in civil engineering from the Technological Institute of Georgia, PhD in civil engineering from Heriot-Watt University in England. Engineer
    • Professional experience: Worked intermittently as a tutor and lecturer in the civil engineering department of Bir Zeit University. In 1994 cofounded the PA’s ministry of housing and was its director general until 1996. Became to the minister of housing, a position held until 1998. 1980 to 2002 was advisor and senior engineer in the engineering ministry in the Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Was a senior consulting engineer in international engineering companies, and headed a joint Palestinian-Italian construction company. Since 2000 lectures at the Islamic University in Gaza City (resumé of Mohammad Ziyara from the engineering faculty of the Islamic University in Gaza).

Mohammad Ziyara
 (Facebook page of Um Rami Ziyara, Mohammad Ziyara's wife, April 11, 2019)
Mohammad Ziyara
(Facebook page of Um Rami Ziyara, Mohammad Ziyara’s wife, April 11, 2019)

  • Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Mahmoud Musa Ahmad Abu Moueis
    • Place of birth: Jenin.
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent
    • Education and profession: Dentist. BA in dentistry from Cairo University, 1976. MA in oral surgery from London University, 1985. MA in oral surgery specialization from the Jordanian Medical Council and the Palestinian Medical Council. Member of the Royal Jordanian College of Surgeons.
    • Professional experience: Worked as dentist and oral surgeon in Kuwait and then worked and studied in Jordan and the PA. Founding dean of the dentistry department of the Jordan University of Science and Technology and the University of Jenin. Was the founding dean of the dentistry department and school of advanced degrees of the American-Arab University in Jenin (resumé of Mahmoud Abu Moueis from the website of American-Arab University in Jenin; Bukra website, April 14, 2019). Was elected to the Jenin council in 2017 and was deputy mayor (Dunia al-Watan, May 20, 2017), resigning at the beginning of 2019 (Tareq Sweitat Facebook page, January 6, 2019).

Incoming minister Mahmoud Abu Moueis (right) with the outgoing minister
 (Sabri Sidam's Facebook page, April 14, 2019)
Incoming minister Mahmoud Abu Moueis (right) with the outgoing minister
(Sabri Sidam’s Facebook page, April 14, 2019)

  • Minister of Education Dr. Marwan Masoud Mohammad Awartani
    • Place and date of birth: Born in the town of Anabta in the Tulkarm district in 1949.
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent
    • Education and profession: Scientist. BA in mathematics from the American University in Beirut, 1973. PhD in mathematical topology from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania.
    • Professional experience: In August 2018 appointed president of the Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology (PALAST) with the rank of minister. Formerly was acting president of al-Quds University (al-Fajr TV website, May 21, 2013; Dunia al-Watan August 15, 2018; Anabta Multaqa Ikhbab, April 13, 2019).
Marwan Awartani (Right: Ministry of education and higher education Facebook page, April 16, 2019; Left: Ministry of education Facebook page, April 15, 2019).    Marwan Awartani (Right: Ministry of education and higher education Facebook page, April 16, 2019; Left: Ministry of education Facebook page, April 15, 2019).
Marwan Awartani (Right: Ministry of education and higher education Facebook page, April 16, 2019; Left: Ministry of education Facebook page, April 15, 2019).
  • Minister of Health Dr. Mai Salem Hanna Kaileh
    • Place of birth: Born in Bir Zeit. Christian.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah activist from youth. Deputy chairperson of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council (Amad, January 17, 2019; Bukra website, April 14, 2019; Kr. Mai Kaileh’s Facebook page).
    • Education and profession: Studied nursing at the Augusta Victoria hospital in east Jerusalem. Studied medicine at Grenada University in Spain and interned in the United States.
    • Professional experience: Worked in various hospitals and as the director of UNRWA’s program for women and children. 2006 to 2013 was the PA representative in Chile. While there completed a PhD degree in public health in medical administration at the University of Chile. PA representative in Italy since 2013.

Mai Kaileh (right)
 (Mai Kaileh's Facebook page, March 23, 2019)
Mai Kaileh (right)
(Mai Kaileh’s Facebook page, March 23, 2019)

  • Minister of Labor Dr. Nasri Khalil Salim Abu Jish
    • Place and date of birth: Born in the village of Bayt Dajan in the Nablus district in 1967.
    • Organizational affiliation: Palestinian People’s Party. Joined in 1982. Member of its political bureau and Central Committee since 2008. Member of the Palestinian National Council.
    • Education and profession: Degree in dentistry from the University of Sophia in Bulgaria. Studied for a diploma in protocol and diplomacy in Jakarta, Indonesia. MA in international relations from Dar al-Salaam University in Tanzania. PhD in political science from the joint Dar al-Salaam and Zimbabwe Universities program.
    • Professional experience: 1991 to 2008 worked as a dentist. Between 2008 and 2014 was the PA representative in Tanzania and a non-resident ambassador to the Seychelle Islands and Mauritania. Since 2015 Palestinian ambassador to Ethiopia and non-resident ambassador to Kenya and Uganda. PA representative in the African Union since 2015 (Bayt Dajan al-Yawm, April 4, 2019)

Nasri Abu Jish
 (Bayt Dajan al-Yawm Facebook page, April 4, 2019)
Nasri Abu Jish
(Bayt Dajan al-Yawm Facebook page, April 4, 2019)

  • Minister of State Initiatives Usama Hassan Sa’ad Sadawi
    • Date of birth: Born in Rafah 1964..
    • Organizational affiliation: Independent.
    • Education and profession: Engineer. Studied civil engineering at Bir Zeit University. MA in civil engineering.
    • Professional experience: Has extensive experience in directing NGOs. Was director general of the Palestinian housing council in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, April 13, 2019; Bukra website, April 14, 2019).
Facebook page of the Palestinian housing council in the Gaza Strip, April 14, 2019).    Usama Sadawi (Right: Wafa, April 13, 2019
Usama Sadawi (Right: Wafa, April 13, 2019; Left: Facebook page of the Palestinian housing council in the Gaza Strip, April 14, 2019).
  • Minister of Media and IT Dr. Ishaq Mohammad Sharif Abd Alhi Sadr
    • Place and date of birth: Born in Hebron in 1963; lives in Hebron.
    • Organizational affiliation: Fatah. In the past was a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. Current member of Fatah’s advisory council and the PLO’s Central Council.
    • Education and profession: Engineer. Studied mechanical engineering in Odessa at the Odessa State Academy of Refrigeration. PhD in mechanical engineering.
    • Professional experience: Teaches at the Palestinian Polytechnic University in Hebron. Dean of the faculty of applied studies (Dr. Ishaq Sadr’s Facebook page; PA Ministry of Media and IT Facebook page, April 13, 2019).

Dr. Ishaq Sadr
 (Facebook page of the ministry of media and it, April 14, 2019)
Dr. Ishaq Sadr
(Facebook page of the ministry of media and it, April 14, 2019)

[1] During the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip protesting the cost of living in March 2019 he was wounded by Hamas' security forces and transferred to Ramallah for medical treatment.