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Rami Hamdallah

(1958 - )

Rami Hamdallah is a Palestinian academic, president of An-Najah University and a former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Hamdallah (born August 10, 1958) was born in the village of Anabta in the northern West Bank. He graduated from the University of Jordan in 1980, received his MA from the University of Manchester in 1982 and completed a PhD in linguistics at Lancaster University of England in 1988.

A professor of English and linguistics, Hamdallah was named president of the Nablus-based An-Najah University, the largest Palestinian university, in 1998.

In early June 2013, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Hamdallah as the new PA Prime Minister to replace Salam Fayyad. Though lacking a political background, Hamdallah is known to have been a supporter of Fatah and of Abbas.  Hamdallah's appointment was immediately condemned by Hamas.

The Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported that Hamdallah pledged his commitment to Abbas's agenda of returning to the negotiating table with a goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

On June 20, 2013, sources within the Palestinian government confirmed that Hamdallah resigned his post as Prime Minister less than three weeks after having been appointed. The abrupt and unexpected move was made because of a "dispute over his powers."

Sources: The Guardian (June 2, 2013); Jerusalem Post (June 4, 2013); Wikipedia; An-Najah University; Associated Press (June 2, 2013); Haaretz (June 20, 2013)