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Abbas Fills Prime Ministry with Seasoned Fatah Colleague

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has selected Mohammad Shtyyer, a seasoned political leader who is viewed as an Abbas loyalist from the Fatah faction, where he serves on the Executive Committee. The position became vacant last month when Dr. Rami Hamdallah surprised many by tendering his resignation. While pundits saw the Shtyyer pick in a positive light, others, in particular young Palestinians, want Abbas himself to step down from the presidency to make way for younger leadership. Abbas has been in office since 2009 when he began what was to be a four-year term. With the bifurcation between the West Bank Fatah/Palestinian Authority regime and the Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas following a bloody take-over, elections have never been feasible. Due to its dismal economy that relies primarily on donations from other nations, and numerous issues blamed on Israeli control over aspects of the daily lives of Palestinians, unrest runs deep and tensions run high. The purported Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is expected to be revealed after the Israeli election, with Palestinian leadership, including those from within Abbas’s own circle, calling the proposals from Washington “dead on arrival.” But Mideast-watchers insist there is no such thing in this region, and leaders in Ramallah are expected to be offered a plan that is economics-heavy, designed to infuse hope as international dollars build infrastructure, likely including a putative capital in east Jerusalem.