|A picture taken on June 6, 2013 shows then Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah (L)speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an official ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Aug. 13, 2013 assigned caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to form a new government. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)
RAMALLAH, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday assigned caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to form a new government.
Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesperson of Abbas, said Hamdallah has got five weeks to form the new government as stipulated by the basic Palestinian law.
On June 23, Hamdallah resigned after 17 days in office, protesting lack of enough authority and power as a prime minister. At the time, Abbas asked him to stay as a caretaker prime minister for the West Bank-based government before he later backed off his resignation.
A source told Xinhua that Abbas and Hamdallah met at the Palestinian presidency headquarters in Ramallah for an hour before agreeing on the reassignment.
Accrediting Hamdallah to stay as a prime minister comes a day before the end of a three-month ultimatum in which Abbas' Fatah party agreed with its rivals in Hamas to form a unity government.
Authorizing Hamdallah to form a new government is seen as an indication that reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, is still idle and elusive.
Hamas and Fatah failed to implement several deals brokered by Egypt and Qatar to form a unity government ruling the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and prepare for elections.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, rejected the reassignment of Hamdallah. "This is a step that deepens the split and increases the crack in the internal Palestinian relations," he told Xinhua.