The United States congratulated the new Palestinian government on Sunday, a day after incoming prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced his new cabinet alongside president Mahmud Abbas. "Congratulations to the new Palestinian Authority Cabinet," tweeted Jason Greenblatt, assistant to US President Donald Trump and special representative for international negotiations.
"With the experience of those on the list, we hope we will be able to work together toward peace and improving Palestinian lives. It's time for a new chapter."
A new government for the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority was sworn in Saturday. As peace talks with Israel ran aground years ago and the Trump administration will likely put forward a peace plan that the Palestinians say favours Israel, Abbas badly needed to garner power at home and extend his control back to Gaza, which Hamas governs separately.
The Palestinian leadership fears that Israel would retain major Jewish settlements in the West Bank and that the seat of the future Palestinian state would be in Gaza instead.
Ishtayeh's government, which controls those parts of the West Bank on which the PA has autonomy, doesn't feature significant changes from its predecessor. Five members, including those of foreign affairs, finance and the two premier deputies, retained their posts. Ishtayeh holds the interior and religious portfolios.
The Palestinian government runs day-to-day affairs while Abbas and the PLO's Central Committee, which he also heads, manage the political decision-making.
Since coming to power, Trump has proven to be perhaps the most pro-Israel American president in history, breaking with decades of international consensus to recognize Jerusalem as the country's capital and Israel's control over the Golan Heights.
The peace plan is being developed by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew whose close family ties to Netanyahu have heightened Palestinian suspicions over whether the US administration can serve as an honest broker.