RAMALLAH, West Bank, AP -The outgoing Palestinian parliament on Monday gave Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas power to appoint a constitutional court — potentially putting him at odds with the new Hamas-led parliament to be sworn in this week.
The amendments to existing law would allow Abbas to “cancel any law approved by the new parliament on the pretext it is unconstitutional,” legal expert Issam Badram said.
The move allowed Abbas to strengthen his grip on the Palestinian Authority just days before the Hamas-dominated parliament is to convene on Thursday.
Israel’s acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has said Israel would not deal with the incoming Palestinian government, even if Hamas stacks it with professionals with no connection to the group.
“The moment the Palestinian parliament is sworn in, the Palestinian Authority becomes a Hamas Authority,” Olmert told his Cabinet on Sunday, according to a participant in the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.
Hamas has carried out scores of deadly attacks against Israelis in recent years, calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. It is listed as a terror organization by the European Union and the United States.