Al-Hassan, who will be charged with reforming the oft-criticised security services, has been a member of the Fatah Central Committee since 1980 and head of the Fatah Foreign Relations Department since 1995. While Al-Hassan has a reputation as a reformer, his appointment is a blow to those demanding a radical overhaul of the PA. His predecessor was seen by the US and Israel as more committed to sweeping reforms.

The other incoming ministers are Zuheir al-Sourani, who takes the justice portfolio, Ahmad al-Shibi as Health Minister, Hisham Abdelrazek as Prisoners’ Affairs Minister and Samir Ghosheh as Jerusalem Affairs Minister. Abdelrazek, is a senior Fatah member, while all three other newcomers have experience in government posts.

The ministries of youth and sport, telecommunications and civil affairs were dissolved.