President Mahmoud Abbas hands Mohammad Shtayeh a letter designating him as new prime minister of the Palestinian government, (WAFA Images / Thayer Ghanayem)
RAMALLAH, Sunday, March 10, 2019 (WAFA) - President Mahmoud Abbas today asked Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Shtayeh to form the new Palestinian government.
Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said President Abbas received Shtayeh at his office and asked him to form the 18th government that would replace the outgoing government of Rami Hamdallah, which resigned on January 29 but continued as a caretaker government.
In the letter of designation to Shtayeh, President Abbas said the mission of the new government will be to speed up reuniting the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as to work toward holding legislative elections in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip to strengthen democracy.
It will also continue to support financially families of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and those killed by the Israeli army, to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land in facing the Israeli settlement policies, defend Jerusalem and its holy Muslim and Christian places in light of Israeli attempts to change their status and to build a strong national economy.
Shtayeh was born in the village of Tel, near Nablus, in 1958 and got his undergraduate degree at Birzeit University and his doctorate degree in economics from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
He also served as director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) and as minister of housing and construction. He was elected to Fatah Central Committee in 2009 and again in 2016.
Shtayeh will have three weeks to form a new government, which could be extended by two more weeks if necessary.