RAMALLAH, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that he decided to reshuffle the Palestinian consensus government.
At a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee chaired by Abbas, he said that he had designated Prime Minister Rami el-Hamdallah to reshuffle his cabinet and widen it with more ministers and portfolios.
Reshuffling the government will enable it to carry out its mission widely, including to carry on the Gaza reconstruction plan, according to a statement of the PLO executive committee.
"The PLO is sticking to national dialogue which is the only way to overcome obstacles that block ending the black internal split that threatens the unity of our people," said the statement.
Ahmed Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member, told Xinhua that the intended government reshuffle "is technical and not political and the cabinet will be increased with four to five portfolios only."
"The decision to reshuffle the government was made due to the urgent need to reinforce the consensus government's performance and it doesn't mean that it is an end of the efforts to form an extensive unity government," he said.
Asked whether the Islamic Hamas movement was consulted over the move,Majdalani said "this reshuffle is the authority of President Abbas and the leadership sticks to keeping the government doing its job."
Hamas opposes joining a broader unity government that is committed to the political platform of the PLO which recognizes Israel and the signed peace agreements and condemns violence.
The Islamic movement also rejects reshuffling the consensus government which was formed one year ago following an agreement the movement reached with Abbas' Fatah Party.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu Zuhri said in an emailed press statement that any government reshuffle had to be made in coordination with the Hamas leadership and other factions.
Meanwhile, the PLO executive committee decided to fire Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the executive committee, according to a PLO executive committee member who spoke to Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Exempting Abed Rabbo from his post "was due to old differences and lack of cooperation and harmony with the entire members of the PLO executive committee," the official said.