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 established by Mahmoud Abbas by Presidential decree and led by Salam Fayyad, the first one from 14 June 2007. While widely supported by the international community, their establishment was controversial. President Mahmoud Abbas suspended certain articles from the Basic Law in order to allow the cabinets to be sworn in without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council (the parliament).

The emergency governments succeeded the short-lived 2007 National Unity Government, which was dissolved by Abbas after Hamas' takeover of Gaza. In effect, only the most populated parts of the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem were governed by the PA. Hamas considered these governments illegitimate and assumed de facto rule over the Gaza Strip.

The Fayyad Government was swiftly recognized by the international community as the legal Palestinian Authority Government, although it was not established in accordance with the Basic Law and neither approved by the Parliament.

Salam Fayyad remained the Prime Minister of the Ramallah-based West Bank Governments, until he was replaced by Rami Hamdallah, who became PM of the PA Government of June 2013.

Controversy[edit]

By Presidential decree, Mahmoud Abbas had declared the state of emergency in June 2007, and dismissed Haniyeh's 2007 National Unity Government, which included Abbas' secular Fatah faction and several other parties.[1] Then, he appointed the emergency cabinet and suspended articles of the Basic Law, to circumvent the needed parliamental 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 parliamentary approval. Although he had the power to dismiss Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister, the law did not grant him the power to appoint a new government without legislative approval nor the right to suspend articles of the Basic Law.[3] Haniyeh's dismissed cabinet should have been remained as caretaker administration until Abbas secured parliamentary approval for a new government. Moreover, a Presidential decree lasts 30 days, only extendable with parliamentary 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 the state of emergency, dismissed the Hamas-led national unity PA government and installed a 16-member emergency government.[1] Only two members of the previous government, Salam Fayyad and Khouloud Daibes, kept their portfolios in the new cabinet.[4]

The new government was immediately recognized by the international community as the legal Palestinian Authority Government,[5] although it was not established in accordance with the Basic Law and not approved by the Parliament. The international community had boycotted the former elected governments since Hamas' elections victory, which forced them to divert international aid directly to Abbas or the 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 competing Hamas government in Gaza.[9]

On 13 July 2007, the state of emergency expired conform the Basic Law and President Abbas issued a decree to continue the emergency government, functioning as a care-taker government and to carry out the assigned duties.[10] On 22 July, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad presented his new Cabinet before the PLC. He explained the government's principles and goals. Fayyad emphasized that his government would be based on inter alia the Arab Peace Initiative and ″all pertinent international resolutions″, and that the agreements signed with Israel be fully abided by.[10]

The second emergency government was identical to the 14 June Government. [11]

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 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