May 19, 2009 / 5:09 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Key events on road to Fayyad's new government

(Reuters) - Salam Fayyad was sworn in as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday.

These are the main developments leading to the new cabinet:


* January - The Islamist movement Hamas won a parliamentary election, ending a near-monopoly on power by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its dominant faction Fatah, and surprising Western backers of secular groups who had pressed President Mahmoud Abbas to hold the election.

* March - Hamas formed a government headed by Ismail Haniyeh, and international powers quickly imposed a crippling boycott in a bid to force the Islamist movement to renounce violence, recognize Israel and honor interim peace deals.


* February - Fatah and Hamas signed a unity agreement in Saudi Arabia, known as the Mecca accord, which did not make an explicit commitment to recognize Israel and abandon violence. Because of the continuing boycott, the new unity government could not pay salaries, igniting strikes in West Bank and Gaza.

* June - Fighting between Fatah and Hamas escalated and Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in a week-long civil war, routing forces loyal to Abbas. Over 160 people were killed. Abbas sacked Haniyeh’s unity government and appointed Salam Fayyad as a prime minister of an emergency government of technocrats, that excluded both Hamas and Fatah. Financial aid to Fayyad’s government in the West Bank resumed and employees started getting salaries. Embargo on Hamas-run Gaza went on.


* February 26 - Fatah and Hamas, joined by other factions, met in Cairo to start of a dialogue after 18 months of schism.

* March 7 - Fayyad submitted his resignation to Abbas, saying he wanted to help rival factions reach a deal on a unity government. Abbas rejected his resignation and asked him to stay on. Some key leaders within Fatah voiced opposition to Fayyad as a non-Fatah prime minister and lobbied against him.

* May 18 - Fatah and Hamas end fifth round of inconclusive, Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks in Cairo.

* May 19 - Abbas appoints a 20-member cabinet with half the seats in Fatah hands but Fayyad still prime minister.

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