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Abbas appoints former World Bank economist, longtime ally as next PA premier

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed economist and former senior government official Mohammad Mustafa as the next prime minister of the PA, his office announces.

The move is part of an effort by Abbas to reform the PA, creating a technocratic government in the West Bank, which will be better prepared to eventually return to governing Gaza as well after Israel’s war against Hamas concludes.

Mustafa will have several weeks to assemble a cabinet, during which outgoing PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh will remain at the helm, a Palestinian official, a senior European diplomat and a US official told The Times of Israel earlier this week.

Mustafa, 69, has been holding consultations with prospective cabinet members in recent weeks and members are expected to be a group of technocrats unaffiliated with Abbas’s Fatah party — many of whom were educated in the West — the officials say.

Mustafa is respected by many international stakeholders, holding a doctorate in economics from George Washington University and having worked for 15 years at the World Bank.

A longtime Abbas confidant, he has served as deputy prime minister, economy minister and as Abbas’s economic adviser. Mustafa has also sat on the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee since 2022 and has served as the chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund since 2005.

Source: TOI