RAMALLAH: A new Palestinian government that includes four women and six ministers from Gaza was sworn in on Sunday, but was already facing scepticism from its own people.

Newly-appointed premier Mohammed Mustafa said his government’s ‘top national priority’ was ending the war as he named his new team.

Mustafa, an economist and long-time [president Mahmoud] Abbas adviser, said the “reconstruction” of the Palestinian territories was his main goal, with Gaza in ruins after nearly six months of escalation in Israeli bombardment.

His new cabinet is made up of 23 ministers and includes four women and six ministers from Gaza, among them former Gaza City mayor Maged Abu Ramadan who has been given the health portfolio.

Among the new female faces is Varsen Aghabekian, a Palestinian-Armenian academic who will work in the foreign ministry.

In a joint statement issued earlier this month, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine declared that Mustafa’s appointment would only deepen Palestinian divisions.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2024

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