Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new "emergency Cabinet" led by the Palestinians' former finance minister, Salam Fayyad.
Mr. Abbas dismissed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the Hamas-led Cabinet last week, during heavy fighting in Gaza between the two principal Palestinian factions -- the president's Fatah group and the armed wing of Hamas. The fighting climaxed with Hamas gaining full control over the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Fayyad is an independent with ties to neither Hamas nor Fatah. He is an economist who also has worked for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Mr. Fayyad pledges the new government will follow Palestinian law and work for unity among all Palestinians.
Soon after the swearing-in ceremony at Ramallah in the West Bank early Sunday, President Abbas issued a decree outlawing the armed groups that operate in Hamas' name.
With Gaza controlled by Hamas -- a terrorist group, according to the United States and the European Union -- the territory's economy may become more precarious than ever. An Israeli fuel supply company that deals with gasoline stations in Gaza terminated its links to the Palestinian territory Sunday.
The Cabinet that President Abbas dismissed last week was a coalition of Hamas and Fatah members, named after Hamas militants won Palestinian legislative elections. The former prime minister Haniyeh and his allies say the dismissals were unconstitutional, and that they still constitute the Palestinian government.
After the well-respected Mr. Fayyad was named prime minister on Friday and the makeup of his emergency Cabinet became known, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said these developments create a new opportunity for peace between Palestinians and the Jewish state.
Before departing for the United States to meet with President Bush, Mr. Olmert told reporters, "A government that is not a Hamas government is a partner (for Israel)."
The Israeli leader arrived in the United States early Sunday. He is scheduled to meet Mr. Bush at the White House on Tuesday.
Information for this story is provided by AP and Reuters.