Palestinian Ministers Sworn in Again Following Oath Hiccup
Ministers in the Palestinian Authority’s new government were sworn in for a second time on Sunday following a blunder on Saturday’s oath-taking, when a phrase was accidentally omitted. The absent clause was swearing to be loyal “to the people and their national heritage.” Lawyer Neal al-Hamah, who was present at the initial ceremony, noticed the error, and Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh informed him that the oath would be repeated the following day. Two figures from the previous government, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Finance Minister Shukri Bashara, remain in their posts. The 24-member government leaves out members of Hamas, the militant group ruling the Gaza Strip. Hamas leadership referred to the new lineup as a “separatist government” with “no national legitimacy” that will “reinforce the chances of severing the West Bank from Gaza.” Hamas seized the coastal enclave in 2007 and has been at odds with the PA ever since despite on-again, off-again efforts aimed at reconciliation.