Palestinian Authority Governments of June–July 2007

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The Palestinian Authority Governments of June–July 2007 were a series of Palestinian Authority (PA) emergency cabinets led by Salam Fayyad established by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by presidential decree. The first Fayyad government was formed on 14 June 2007. While widely supported by the international community, its establishment was controversial because it was not established in accordance with the Basic Law, which requires a new government to be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council. President Abbas suspended certain articles from the Basic Law in order to allow the cabinets to be sworn in without PLC approval.

The emergency governments succeeded the short-lived Hamas-led 2007 National Unity Government, which was dismissed by President Abbas after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007.

The Fayyad government was swiftly recognized by the international community as the legal government of the Palestinian Authority. Fayyad remained the Prime Minister of the Ramallah-based West Bank Governments, until he was replaced by Rami Hamdallah, who became Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Government of June 2013.

Controversy[edit]

By presidential decree, President Abbas declared a state of emergency in June 2007, and dismissed Haniyeh-led 2007 National Unity Government, which included Abbas' Fatah faction and several other parties.[1] Then, he appointed an emergency cabinet and suspended articles of the Basic Law, to circumvent the needed PLC approval.[1][2]

Senior lawyers who wrote the Basic Law said that President Abbas exceeded his powers in appointing an emergency government to replace a Hamas-led cabinet without PLC approval. Although he had the power to dismiss Haniyeh as Prime Minister, the law did not grant him the power to appoint a new government without PLC approval nor the right to suspend articles of the Basic Law.[3] Haniyeh's dismissed cabinet should have remained as caretaker administration until Abbas secured PLC approval for a new government. Moreover, a Presidential decree lasts 30 days, only extendable with PLC approval. Nathan Brown said: "These are absolutely and clearly black and white violations. He has no authority whatsoever to appoint an emergency government."[2]

Timeline[edit]

On 14 June 2007, President Abbas declared a state of emergency, dismissed the Hamas-led national unity PA government and Salam Fayyad was commissioned to form a caretaker government. Fayyad‘s 16-member emergency government (described as the 12th government) was installed on the same day.[1] Only two members of the previous government, Fayyad himself and Khouloud Daibes, kept their portfolios in the new government.[4]

The Fayyad government was immediately recognized by the international community as the legal Palestinian Authority government,[5] The international community had boycotted the previous Hamas-led governments, and diverted international aid directly to Abbas or humanitarian aid organizations. Yet, they were prepared to work with the new PA Government.[6][7][8]

According to a Human Rights Watch report, the Government ordered a boycott of the security, judicial and other government sectors in Gaza and ordered its employees to stay home from work if they wanted to get paid. President Abbas and Fatah supported Israel’s Gaza border closures and restrictions on the supply of electricity and fuel.[9] According to Palestinian security officials in the West Bank, Israel had since June 2007 assisted them in their common fight against Hamas. The cooperation with Israel generated a common view among Palestinians in the West Bank, that the forces under President Abbas are the “subcontractor of the occupation“. The Human Rights Watch report furthermore states that serious human rights abuses were committed by the new government, but also by the Hamas government in Gaza.[9]

On 13 July 2007, the state of emergency expired in accordance with the Basic Law, and President Abbas issued a new decree to continue the state of emergency. The Fayyad government continued functioning as a caretaker government.[10]

On 22 July 2007, Prime Minister Fayyad presented his government (described as the 13th government) for PLC approval.[10] Fayyad also presented his government's principles and goals, and emphasized that his government would be based on inter alia the Arab Peace Initiative and ″all pertinent international resolutions″, and that the government would honour the agreements made with Israel.[10] The second Fayyad government was identical to the first Fayyad government of 14 June. [11] However, as the PLC quorum requirement could not be met, as Hamas members were boycotting the PLC, the approval was given in “extraordinary” session.

Members of the Government[edit]

June to July 2007 [4][11]

Minister Office Party
1 Salam Fayyad Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, Finance Third Way
2 Abdul al-Razzaq al-Yahia
(Abdel Razzak El-Yehya)
Interior, Civil Affairs Independent
3 Ziad al-Bandak Local Government Independent
4 Khouloud Daibes Tourism, Women's Affairs Independent
5 Kamal Hassouneh Economy, Public Works, Telecommunications Independent
6 Lamis al-Alami Education Independent
7 Samir Abdullah Planning, Labor Independent
8 Fathi Abu Maghli Health Independent
9 Riyad al-Malki Information Ex-PFLP
10 Jamal Bawatneh Waqf Independent
11 Mashhour Abu Daqqa Transport Independent
12 Ashraf al-Ajrami Prisoners Affairs Independent
13 Mahmoud Habbash Agriculture, Social Affairs Independent, Ex-Hamas
14 Ali Khashaan Justice Independent
15 Ibrahim Abrash Culture Independent
16 Tahani Abu Daqqa Youth and Sports Independent

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Presidential Decrees Issued on June - July 2007. JMCC, archived on 12 October 2007
  2. ^ a b Framers of Palestinian constitution challenge Abbas. Adam Entous, Reuters, 8 July 2007
  3. ^ TEXT-Opinion of lawyer who drafted Palestinian law. Reuters, 8 July 2007
  4. ^ a b The PA Ministerial Cabinet List—The Emergency Government June 2007 - July 2007 (12th government). JMCC, archived on 18 August 2007
  5. ^ Abbas appoints new Palestinian PM. BBC, 15 June 2007.
    "The group of Middle East mediators known as the Quartet - the US, UN, EU and Russia - pledged their "full support" for Mr Abbas, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said."
  6. ^ U.S. ends embargo on Palestinian Authority in move to bolster Fatah. Helene Cooper, International Herald Tribune, 19 June 2007
  7. ^ EU to sponsor Palestinian emergency government. Lucia Kubosova, EU Observer, 19 June 2007
  8. ^ Israel Will Support Abbas With Millions From Taxes. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 25 June 2007
  9. ^ a b Internal Fight-Palestinian Abuses in Gaza and the West Bank, pp.15-16. Human Rights Watch, July 2008. Here available.
  10. ^ a b c Platform of the 13th Government July 2007. JMCC, 22 July 2007
  11. ^ a b The PA Ministerial Cabinet List—July 2007 (13th government). JMCC, archived on 4 October 2007