Palestinian president appoints little-known university president as as new prime minister

The official Palestinian news agency says President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister, ending weeks of uncertainty following the resignation of the previous premier.

The Wafa agency said Abbas appointed academic Rami Hamdullah on Sunday evening. Hamdullah replaces Salam Fayyad, a respected U.S.-educated economist who was seen as being too independent and frequently clashed with Abbas.

Hamdullah is a member of the Fatah Party led by Abbas. He is now tasked with forming a new technocratic government.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Hamdullah has no prior political or government experience. He is a British-educated English professor and dean of al-Najah University in the West Bank.