The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has named Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh as the new prime minister. It follows a day of talks between Hamas and other militant groups as tries to form a new government by early next month. The meeting took place in Gaza, with the clatter of an Israeli military helicopter flying overhead audible in the room. Included in the talks were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad.
The latter has conducted several recent suicide bombings, and has refused to join the government. President Mahmoud Abbas is continuing talks with Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders in Gaza, as the new Palestinian prime minister, along with other Hamas members, is not allowed to travel to the Palestinian authority’s headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank. Haniyeh has three weeks to form a new government, with a possible two week extension.