[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 13:59 GMT
Profiles: Palestinian unity government
Ismail Haniya (left) presents his new cabinet
The Palestinian unity government took months to negotiate
The Palestinian national unity government was sworn in in mid-March after months of wrangling.

The new cabinet contains 25 ministers from the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, and various other parties.

Ismail Haniya: Prime Minister (Hamas)

Ismail Haniya retains the premiership, which he held in the previous administration.

Azzam Ahmad: Deputy PM, Fatah

Azzam Ahmad has served as a government minister several times in previous Fatah-led administrations.

Born in the West Bank city of Jenin in 1947, he has often been a fierce critic of Hamas.

Following the 2006 legislative elections, Mr Ahmad was appointed as the head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Educated at Baghdad University, Mr Ahmad served as the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) ambassador to Iraq from 1979-1994.

Salam Fayyad: Minister of Finance (Third Way Bloc in the PLC)

Salam Fayyad is considered a liberal and widely respected among the international organisations that have worked with the Palestinian Authority.

Born in 1952 near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, he holds a PhD in economics from the University of Texas.

He worked at the World Bank in Washington from 1987-1995. Mr Fayyad then served as the World Bank's Palestinian representative based in Jerusalem until 2001.

He served as the finance minister under the Fatah-controlled administration from 2002-2005 and won praise from the international community for introducing economic reform. He is also credited with cracking down on official corruption.

Ziad Abu Amr: Minister for Foreign Affairs (Independent)

Ziad Abu Amr is widely respected among the ranks of the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah.

A former culture minister, he was born in Gaza City in 1950.

From 1985 he taught political science at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.

He has published several books including Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad.

Hani Talab Qawasmi: Minister of the Interior (independent)

Hani Qawasmi was appointed to the position after much wrangling between Hamas and Fatah.

He is not a well known politician. Most recently he held the post of director in the ministry of religious affairs.

Born in 1958, Mr Qawasmi is originally from the West Bank city of Hebron but currently lives in Gaza.

He studied at Cairo University before working in the al-Azhar Islamic University in Gaza.

Mr Qawsami is not known to have any party affiliation and is believed to have little experience in security matters.

Nasser al-Din Shaer: Minister of Education (Hamas)

Nasser al-Din Shaer is a prominent academic from al-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus. He was born in 1961.

He was appointed education minister and deputy prime minister in March 2006. He was also a research scholar at New York University.

Mustafa Barghouti: Minister of Information (Palestinian National Initiative)

Mustafa Barghouti was a leading negotiator between the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, during the recent violence. He was born in 1954.

He ran in the 2004 presidential election receiving almost a fifth of the vote.

Mr Barghouti also runs medical relief agencies in the Palestinian territories.

Bassam Salhi: Minister of Culture (Palestinian People's Party)

A prominent student activist, Mr Salhi spent three years in Israeli jails during the first Palestinian uprising which ran from 1987 to 1991.

Born in 1960, Mr Sahli campaigned vigorously against the West Bank barrier. He is considered liberal and secular.

Radwan Akhras: Minister of Health (Fatah)

Dr Akhras is a physician trained at al-Azhar University in Cairo.

Born in 1945, Dr Akhras joined Fatah in 1966 and received military training.

He has worked for the Red Crescent in Syria and Lebanon.

Saleh Zeidan: Minister of Social Affairs (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine)

Saleh Zeidan was a prominent militant leader in Lebanon throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

He was born in northern Lebanon in 1949 to parents who were refugees.

Ziad Thatha: Economy Minister (Hamas)

Ziad Thatha previously worked as a senior manager in Gaza for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

Born in 1955 in Gaza, Mr Thatha has a PhD in civil engineering from Egypt.

He was a head of the Palestinian Engineers' Union in Gaza.

Other ministers:
Taysir Abu Sneineh: Minister of Prisoner Affairs (Fatah)
Samir Abu Eisheh: Minister of Planning (Hamas)
Mohammed Barghouti: Minister of Local Government (Hamas)
Bassem Naim: Minister of Youth and Sports (Hamas)
Yousef Mansi: Minister of Telecommunications (Hamas)
Mohammed Agha: Minister of Agriculture (Hamas)
Khulud Dwaibess: Minister of Tourism (independent)
Samih Abed: Minister of Public Works (Fatah)
Hussein Tartouri: Minister of Islamic Affairs (Hamas)
Ali Sartawi: Minister of Justice (Hamas)
Wasfi Kabaha: State Minister (Hamas)
Amal Siam: Minister of Women's Affairs (Hamas)
Sadi Krunz: Minister of Transport (Fatah)
Mahmoud Aloul: Minister of Labour (Fatah)



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific