The new Palestinian Authority government headed by Mohammed Shtayyeh was sworn in at a ceremony in Ramallah on Saturday, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Shtayyeh, who is a longtime adviser to Abbas and a member of the Fatah party, will run a 23-member government with 16 new ministers. Five ministers who served in the previous government will continue in their positions, including Foreign Minister Riad Malki and Finance Minister Shukri Bishara.

The new premier is replacing Rami Hamdallah, who resigned last January after four years in office.

Hamas, which was excluded by a coalition joined by the Palestinian People's Party, the Palestinian Democratic Union and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, said that the new government will increase the divide between Palestinians.

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