Palestinian Authority Government of March 2006
The Palestinian Authority Government of March 2006 was a government of the Palestinian National Authority from 29 March 2006 to 17 March 2007, led by Ismail Haniyeh. After winning the democratic elections on 25 January, Hamas formed a cabinet of mostly Hamas members and in addition four independents. It was the first Hamas-led PNA government in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Fatah and other factions refused to join Hamas in a government.
Because Hamas did not recognize Israel and earlier agreements a substantial part of the international community, especially Israel and the United States, did not accept the Hamas government. Sanctions to undermine the Palestinian Government were imposed. After the massive arrest of PLC members and ministers by Israel following the abduction of Gilad Shalit, nearly a third of the parliament was detained.
Pursuant to the Oslo Accords, the authority of the PA Government is limited to some civil rights of the Palestinians in the West Bank Areas A and B and in the Gaza Strip, and to internal security in Area A and in Gaza.
On 27 March 2006, Ismail Haniyeh announced his new government before the Palestinian Legislative Council. On 28 March, the government of mostly Hamas members and in addition four independents was approved by the PLC and sworn in on 29 March 2006. Hamas preferred a broad coalition with Hamas, Fatah and other factions, but Fatah refused to join a new Hamas-led coalition. On 26 January 2006, Fatah leader Saeb Erakat said his party did not want to join a Hamas Government. The Fatah Central Committee decided that Fatah will not join the next Government, but said it would depend on President Abbas. On 28 January 2006, Hamas declared it would try to form a Government of technocrats, if a government with Fatah and all the political groups was not possible. On 29 January 2006, PLC deputies from Fatah confirmed after talks with Abbas that their faction would not join Hamas in a coalition Government and would prefer to sit in opposition, despite calls by Hamas for a “political partnership”. The decision was, however, not discussed and ratified by the Fatah Central Committee.
After Hamas democratically won the elections, Israel in conjunction with the United States, threatened to restrict the movement of money, people and goods into and out of Gaza Strip and West Bank, if Hamas would become part of the new government. Israel demanded Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist, to forswear violence and to accept the validity of previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements.
Following the formation of a Hamas-led government on 29 March 2006, Israel, the US and the Quartet on the Middle East imposed sanctions against the PA. Israel responded with the withholding of taxes collected on behalf of the PA.
Due to the Israeli blockade, ministers from West Bank and Gaza were compelled to communicate by videophone. One of the first acts of the Hamas cabinet, was to freeze a round of appointments by the outgoing Fatah-led government.
A struggle for power between President Abbas and the new government emerged. Abbas made his longtime ally Rashid Abu Shbak head of three security agencies. Also, he ordered that all diplomatic statements and dealings be coordinated with the Fatah-domiated Palestine Liberation Organization, after Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar had sent a letter to the UN Secretary General.
In April 2006, it was announced that the Hamas ministers in the Cabinet had resigned their membership in the organization, in an effort to reduce Israeli and international pressure, facing the economic siege.
Members of the Government
|1||Ismail Haniyeh||Prime Minister/Minister of Sports and Youth||Hamas|
|2||Mahmoud al-Zahar||Foreign Affairs Minister||Hamas|
|3||Omar Abd al-Razaq||Finance Minister||Hamas|
|4||Said Seyam||Interior Minister||Hamas|
|7||Fakhri Turkman||Social Affairs||Independent|
|8||Wasfi Kabha||Prisoners Affairs||Hamas|
|9||Nasser al-Shaer||Deputy Prime Minister/Education Minister||Hamas|
|11||Mariam Saleh||Woman Affairs||Hamas|
|13||Jamal al Khudari||Telecommunications and Information Technology||Independent|
|14||Abdul Rahman Zeidan||Public Works||Hamas|
|15||Joudeh George Murqos||Tourism||Independent **|
|16||Attallah Abul Sabeh||Culture||Hamas|
|18||Nayef Rajoub||Religious Affairs||Hamas|
|19||Samir Abu Eisheh||Planning||Hamas|
|20||Mohammed al Agha||Agriculture||Hamas|
|21||Khaled Abu Arafeh||Minister without Portfolio||Hamas|
|22||Issa Ja'bari||Local Governance Ministry||Hamas|
|25||Mohammed Awad||Chief of Cabinet (Rank of Minister)||Hamas|
* Some ministers were arrested by Israel, making their duties being transferred to other ministers.
- Palestinian PM to quit after poll. BBC, 26 January 2006
- Chronological Review of Events Relating to the Question of Palestine Monthly media monitoring review, January 2006. UN, Division for Palestinian Rights, 8 February 2006.
Day 26:"Saeb Erakat, who won re-election to the PLC in his home town of Jericho, beating back a challenge from a Hamas candidate, said his party did not want to join a Hamas Government. ... “The Fatah Central Committee has decided that Fatah will not join the next Government,” Intissar Wazir, a member of the Committee, said after the group met to discuss the outcome of the PLC elections. Officials said the ultimate decision on whether Fatah could join a new Government would still depend on PA President Abbas." Day 29: "After talks with PA President Abbas, PLC deputies from Fatah confirmed that their faction would not join Hamas in a coalition Government and would prefer to sit in opposition, despite calls by Hamas for a “political partnership”."
- TIMELINE: Key events since 2006. Reuters, 20 June 2007
- The Impact of Semi-Presidentialism on Governance in the Palestinian Authority (pdf). Francesco Cavatorta and Robert Elgie. Parliam Affairs (2009). (Also in html version)
p. 9: Hamas offered Fatah a grand coalition, but Fatah refused"
- Palestinian Legislative Council Members. Addameer, 2013
- Palestinian MK demands release of PLC members; reinstatement of Jerusalem ID. Ma'an News Agency, 12 September 2008
- 25% of Palestinian MPs detained by Israel. Conal Urquhart, Guardian, 21 August 2006
- The ministerial statement of the new government as read by PM elect Ismail Hanieh in front of the PLC. JMCC, 27 March 2006
- US cuts diplomatic ties with Hamas government. Guardian, 29 March 2006
- Hamas Leader Faults Israeli Sanction Plan. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, 18 February 2006
- U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster Steven Erlanger, New York Times, 14 February 2006
- Israel’s retaliatory seizure of tax, pp. 10-11. Al-Haq, 1 April 2015. Here available
- Funds Cut, Gaza Faces a Plague of Health Woes. New York Times, 8 May 2006
- Palestinians' Hamas Leader Faces Myriad of Problems. The New York Times, 6 April 2006.
"Israel refuses to allow Hamas officials to pass between the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to other steps aimed at increasing its isolation."
- Hamas Ministers Resign Membership in Movement to Appease U.S., Israel. Arnon Regular, Haaretz, 7 April 2006
- The PA Ministerial Cabinet List March 2006 - March 2007. JMCC. Archived on 4 October 2009