Palestinian Authority appoints spy chief as new interior minister

Palestinian Authority appoints spy chief as new interior minister
General Ziad Hab al-Reeh, a former intelligence chief and longtime Fatah activist, has been appointed interior minister by the Palestinian Authority.
2 min read
03 January, 2022
Ziad Hab al-Reeh will head the Palestinian Authority interior ministry [Getty]

The Palestinian Authority has formally appointed a new interior minister for the first time in almost a decade, with intelligence chief Major General Ziad Hab Al-Reeh selected for the post. 

The longtime Fatah activist was sworn in Saturday together with the new Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri at the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah

The spy chief's new role - which has been overseen by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh while the post was empty - will involve overseeing Palestinian security forces at a time of intense scrutiny after the death of activist Nizar Banat and subsequent crackdowns on protests. 

"The swearing-in ceremony…was attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, Adviser to the President for Diplomatic Affairs Majdi Al-Khalidi, and Adviser to the President for Legal Affairs Ali Muhanna," reported the Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa

Live Story

He will be the first Palestinian Authority interior minister in seven years. 

Born in Jenin, a city in the northern occupied West Bank, Al-Reeh has been a Palestinian activist for years, dating back to before the first intifada. 

Al-Reeh headed the Palestinian Authority's internal intelligence agency, Preventive Security, from 2006 just before Fatah and Hamas split.

He is also a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, which sets policies through various committees

Fatah is the dominant faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, and has dominated Palestinian politics in the West Bank since the Oslo Accords.

It is currently led by 86-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidency expired in 2009.