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Palestinian woman to be first female foreign minister in PA cabinet reshuffle

Annisa Essack | kzn@radioislam.org.za
28 February 2024 | 13:30 CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: Palestinian Authority

In a historic move, a Palestinian woman is set to become the first female foreign minister under a rebranded and reformed Palestinian Authority.

After Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s resignation on Monday, there have been talks about a cabinet reshuffle. This indicates the possibility of significant reforms being made, especially since the Palestinian Authority has been under increasing pressure since the start of Israel’s Gaza war in October.

Palestinian sources have reported that Amal Jadou, who currently holds the position of Under-secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, is being considered for a ministerial position in the upcoming government. She would become Palestine’s first female foreign minister if appointed, although women have previously held other ministerial roles in Palestinian governments.

According to reports, there is a possibility that Ms Jadou might replace Riyad Al Maliki as a part of a complete cabinet reshuffle aimed at revitalising the administration. A source close to the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah has confirmed that Ms. Jadou is one of the top candidates being considered for the foreign minister position.

The anticipated government overhaul is expected to bring in a technocratic administration. At the same time, President Abbas and Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Hussein Al-Sheikh will likely maintain their roles within the government.

Israeli officials have stated that Hamas, the militant group, will not be part of Gaza’s future, which adds to the challenges of the Palestinian Authority’s governance of the territory. A Palestinian official has disclosed that the proposed changes aim to form a new government that is internationally recognised, has credibility, and can meet several international obligations, such as financial oversight and auditing.

While Mohammad Mustafa is a prominent contender to lead the new government, other individuals’ names are also under consideration. Mr Mustafa, born in 1954, has extensive experience in economic affairs, having served as a senior adviser to President Abbas since 2005 and holding positions such as deputy prime minister and minister for the economy.

Hani Al Masri, the director of the Palestinian think tank Masarat, has warned that a government that solely depends on the President for functioning might face internal and external issues. He has also stressed the significance of unity and establishing an independent Palestinian state. According to Al Masri, a strong and united government that rules the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be better equipped to handle the complexities involved.

Amal Jadou’s potential appointment as foreign minister in Palestine is a significant step forward for gender representation and leadership in Palestinian politics.

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