Palestinian ministers sworn in again after oath foul-up

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Palestinian government ministers were sworn in for a second time on Sunday after a lawyer noticed that the oath they took the day before had been missing a phrase.

Lawyer Nael Al-Hawah spotted the omission after Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s new government was sworn in before president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday.

The oath had dropped a clause where ministers swear to be loyal “to the people and its national heritage”, he said.

“I noticed the error and I posted a status update on Facebook,” he told AFP.

Shtayyeh called al-Hawah to acknowledge the error and inform him that the oath would be repeated in its entirety on Sunday, he said.

Official Palestinian news agency WAFA said the oath was indeed repeated, adding that the mistake had been caused by a “typing error.”

Al-Hawah said he was familiar with the vow having closely followed Palestinian governments and because it was part of his teaching for law trainees.

He said the error could have placed the government’s legality in doubt.

The new ministers took office following a change of government that several analysts said was made to further isolate Hamas, at odds with the Fatah party of Abbas for more than a decade.

Abbas, 84, is seen as retaining the real decision-making authority.