Palestine Unity Government Sworn In
Palestine's new unity government was sworn in at Ramallah on Monday.
The forging of an administration that is to be politically non-affiliated is a result of the reconciliation deal between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reached in end-April this year.
After a ceremony in the city of Ramallah, where the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters are based, 17 ministers have entered the new cabinet, five of which are from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is to head the government, according to Hurriyet Daily News. No political mandate has been assigned to the new administration, which will also recognize Israel under the Middle East Peace Quartet's agreements.
This is the first unity cabinet in Palestine in seven years, after Hamas' decision to seize control of Gaza caused a huge rift between the factions in 2007.
Israel and the US voiced criticism at the government back when its forging was under way, with both states protesting over the participation of Hamas in it.
Hamas is considered to be a terrorist organization by a number of countries including Israel, the US, Canada, Egypt, Japan and the EU member states.