Palestinian lawmakers endorsed the cabinet, later sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, after Haniyeh announced a platform declaring that “resistance in all its forms, including popular resistance to occupation, is a legitimate right”.
The US called on the new Palestinian government to renounce violence, recognize Israel and respect peace agreements.
“The national unity government’s platform reference to the right of resistance is disturbing and contradicts the Quartet principles of renunciation of violence,” Nancy Beck, a US state department spokeswoman, said.
“The prime minister’s speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council was disappointing and inconsistent with the Quartet principles as well as the National Unity Government’s adherence to the foundational principles of peace.”
Shortly after the confidence vote was passed , Norway announced its recognition of the new Palestinian government.
“We recognise it [the Palestinian government] as it has recognised the international agreements,” Jonas Gahr Stoere, the Norwegian foreign minister, told Al Jazeera.
“We see that [its commitments] clearly, and on this basis we think that it is important to send a signal that we are now prepared to deal actively with the government. We hold it responsible to follow words with deeds……this is an additional aspect of the political process in the region”, he said.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Oslo reported that Norway was ending economic sanctions against Palestinians.
The European Union also welcomed the establishment of a Palestinian unity government but said a resumption of aid would depend on an assessment of the new cabinet’s actions.
“The Presidency of the EU recalls the readiness of the EU to work with and to resume its assistance to a legitimate Palestinian government adopting a platform reflecting the Quartet principles. The EU will carefully assess the platform and actions of the new government and its ministers,” an EU statement said.
Hamas to seek end to ‘occupation’
Following Haniya’s speech, Israel re-iterated its position that it would not deal with the incoming government.