"He affirmed that after announcing the government, Abbas and the new ministers would visit Gaza to officially declare the end of the Palestinian split."
Ramallah, May 27 - The Palestinian interim unity government will be sworn in Thursday before President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian official said Tuesday.

Abbas will announce the new government himself and then it will be sworn in Thursday, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Current Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah will lead the future government and he will also be given the interior ministry portfolio, the official said.

He added that the current foreign and finance ministers will retain their jobs in the upcoming consensus government.

Late in April, rival Palestinian Hamas movement and Fatah party announced a reconciliation agreement to end a Palestinian political rift that started when Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007 after routing forces loyal to Abbas who now rules the West Bank.

Under the agreement, which is opposed by Israel, Abbas would start discussions to form a unity government within five weeks and call for general elections six months after forming the new administration.

Earlier in the day, Fatah and Hamas leaders held a meeting in Gaza to put the final touches on the new cabinet lineup. A similar meeting was held in Gaza Monday.

Azzam al-Ahmad, the Fatah official in charge of the reconciliation file, told reporters that his movement and the Hamas group have agreed on the government formation, adding that Abbas would announce the government soon.

He affirmed that after announcing the government, Abbas and the new ministers would visit Gaza to officially declare the end of the Palestinian split.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said his government would peacefully transfer tasks to the unity government.


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