October 2016 Hamas government

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The Hamas government of October 2016 is the Gaza-based faction of the Palestinian government and is a de facto third Hamas-dominated government in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover of Gaza from the Palestinian National Authority in 2007. On 17 October 2016, the Supreme Administrative Committee, which is in charge of the conduct of the ministries in Gaza,[1] reshuffled the active ministries and changed the positions of 16 Deputy Ministers and Directors-General in government institutions.[2] The government in Gaza consists of Deputy Ministers, Directors-General and other high-level officials, not directly bound to the Ramallah administration. It was initially speculated that the formation of the 2016 Hamas government was an attempt by Ismail Haniyeh to return to full Hamas control of Gaza.[2] As part of the government reform, it was decided to abolish the Ministry of Planning.[2] The United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan and Israel classify Hamas as a terrorist organization and do not recognize the government. Hamas government is not recognized by Ramallah administration of the State of Palestine.

According to some views, the third Hamas cabinet de facto succeeded the failed 2014 Unity Government, which was reshuffled by Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in July 2015 without Hamas consent and was announced by Hamas as expired on 19 October 2016. "Coalition for Accountability and Integrity - Aman" said that the formation of this committee was a declaration of a new government in the Gaza Strip.[2] Youssef Mahmoud, the spokesman for the consensus Palestinian government, said that every action made in Gaza without the consensus government’s approval is illegitimate and not recognized by the Ramallah government.[2] Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the 2007 and 2012 Hamas-led governments, considers the 2015 Fatah-dominated government in Ramallah as illegitimate. The Hamas government of 2016 exercises de facto rule over the Gaza Strip, supported by the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is dominated by members of Hamas.

Formation[edit]

A Unity Government was formed on 2 June 2014, following the Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement of 23 April 2014. However, the Unity Government shortly came to deadlock over implementing policies. In July 2015, President Abbas reshuffled the Ramallah-based Unity Government, giving raise to what is described as the Palestinian government of 2015, because Hamas was not consulted on the changes.

On 13 October 2016, Hamas called for a return of full-fledged Hamas governance of the Gaza Strip under Islamil Haniyeh.[3] On 17 October, the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council supported a reshuffle of Palestinian government representatives in the Gaza Strip, without the consent of President Abbas, thereby in effect creating a new government comprising Deputy Ministers and Directors-General.

Members of the Gaza Strip 2016 government[edit]

Name Office Party
(vacant) Prime Minister Hamas
Foreign Ministry Hamas
Justice Hamas
Ibrahim Radwan[2] Public Works Hamas
Kamel Madi[2] Land Authority Hamas
Local Government Hamas
Agriculture Hamas
* Finance Hamas
Ihab al-Ghusain[2] Transport Hamas
Samir Mtayyar[2] Energy Authority of the Gaza Strip Hamas
Health Hamas
Religious affairs Hamas
Interior Hamas
Bashir Abu Naja[2] Youth Hamas
Education Hamas
Anwar al-Buraawi[2] Culture Hamas
Ibrahim Jaber[2] Tourism Hamas

Responses to formation[edit]

Mahmud Abbas met with the political leader of Hamas Khaled Mashal in Qatar in late October and on 30 November 2016 it was reported that Mahmud Abbas proposed to Hamas the formation of a temporary unity government to bridge the issues between Hamas and Fatah.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]