New Palestinian Authority Prime Minister appointed by Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Mohammad Mustafa, a close ally and prominent business figure, as the new prime minister. Mustafa’s main task is to help reform the Palestinian Authority (PA), as reported by the state-run WAFA news agency on Thursday.

Mustafa’s appointment comes amid increasing pressure to revamp and strengthen the governance of the Palestinian territories, particularly in the West Bank where the PA is located.

While Abbas remains the most powerful figure in the PA, the appointment of a new prime minister reflects his willingness to address international calls for change within the administration.

Mustafa, known for his involvement in the reconstruction of Gaza after previous conflicts, has been tasked with leading the relief efforts in the war-torn area. Additionally, he will work on reforming Palestinian Authority institutions, according to WAFA.

Replacing PM Shtayyeh

Mustafa takes over from former Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, who and his government resigned in February.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks during a visit after Israeli settlers’ rampage in Hawara, Israeli-occupied West Bank on March 1, 2023. (credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/REUTERS)

Established three decades ago under the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has limited governance over parts of the West Bank, which Palestinians envision as part of their future independent state.

Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the PA’s involvement in Gaza, the PA may have a significant role in the territory’s administration post-conflict resolution.

The PA, led by Abbas’ Fatah faction, has had a tumultuous relationship with Hamas, the Islamist group governing Gaza. Although they have clashed in the past, the PA has condemned the Israeli invasion of Gaza following Hamas’ assault on Israel in October and maintains that it should have a role in governing Gaza post-war.