The new Palestinian government will fail like its predecessors

The Palestinian political system is outraged by the appointment of Mohammed Moustafa as the new prime minister and says that the new government will fail like its predecessors because it is not trusted by the Palestinian street. Senior officials in the Fatah movement accuse Muhammad Moustafa of acts of corruption, his associates deny and say that these are lies based on political rivalry.

The tension on the Palestinian street is increasing after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas tasked his close associate, Dr. Mohammad Moustafa, with the formation of the new technocrat government that should bring news to the Palestinians of reforms and change in the political system as well as national unity in view of the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

However, it turns out that all the Palestinian factions, led by Hamas, are opposed to this government.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas did not consult with them before assigning his close associate to form the new government.

The new government is supposed to be a government of experts, but the new Prime Minister, Muhammad Moustafa, is a Fatah member and an experienced politician who also serves as a member of the executive committee of the PLO.

His appointment indicates the intention of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to pull strings behind the scenes according to his political agenda, therefore all the Palestinian factions issued a harsh statement on March 16 in which it was stated that the authorization of Muhammad Moustafa to form a new government was done without national consent In a step that constitutes “reinforcing the policy of unilateralism and deepening the split in Palestinian society”.

This message angered Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement in response issued a harsh message against the Hamas initiative in which it accused its senior officials of corruption and living in luxury abroad and that “Hamas’ decision to go on an adventure on October 7th led to a Nakba that is more terrible than the Nakba of 1948.”

Therefore, the new government that has not yet been formed has already lost the legitimacy of the Palestinian street in advance, the expected conflict between it and the Palestinian street will only increase, with such a government, the PA cannot control the Gaza Strip and restore it after the war.

What’s more, even at the top of Fatah there is very strong opposition to the new Prime Minister Muhammad Moustafa, senior members of the movement see him as a “red sheet” who is involved in acts of corruption and who is actually the servant of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons who own a large economic empire.

A senior Fatah official told me that “a person whose hands are suspected of not being clean” cannot form a government that is supposed to make reforms and handle the huge budgets that will come from the countries contributing to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip from the war damage.

The close associates of the new Prime Minister, Muhammad Moustafa, deny all the suspicions and accusations against him and say that these are lies originating from political rivals at the top of Fatah as part of the succession battle.

On March 13, the “Shahed” website published an article under the title “A corrupt person replaces another corrupt person” in which it claims that the appointment of Muhammad Moustafa, who held senior economic positions, to the position of new Prime Minister in place of Muhammad Ishtayeh is “the continuation of the vicious cycle of corruption” and that he is no less corrupt than Muhammad Ishtayeh, and that “every one of them is a disaster and evil for the Palestinian people”.

In the article, it is claimed that Muhammad Moustafa is deeply involved in corruption cases while managing the Palestinian Investment Fund belonging to the PLO, according to it, his name was mentioned in the “Panama Papers” case in 2016 as a central figure involved in money laundering and tax evasion.

The article also publishes other corruption cases in which Muhammad Moustafa is involved in cases in Judea and Samaria related to the sale of land and assets and the embezzlement of funds and their smuggling abroad, as mentioned Muhammad Moustafa denies through his associates all the accusations against him.

The new Palestinian government is supposed to make a series of reforms in all areas, including the security sector, in order to increase the war on terror as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas promised to the Biden administration, to prove that it knows how to govern and to prove to Israel that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition to the PA Controlling the Gaza Strip is not justified.

However, this government had already lost legitimacy on the Palestinian street before it was established and it turns out that Mahmoud Abbas and his gang fully control the new prime minister, if until now they have not fought terrorism, why should they do so now?

A senior Fatah official says that Mahmoud Abbas is biding his time and is waiting for President Biden to lose the November elections and then all the American pressure will be removed from him to make reforms and confront the terrorism of Hamas.

According to him, there will be no change in the policy of Mahmoud Abbas, what was will be and may even be worse.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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