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last updated Jan. 7, 2010 1:30 PM (EST+7)
Mahmoud al-Habbash
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Palestinian politics religious affairs agriculture social affairs
Mahmoud al-Habbash, an independent, served as minister of agriculture and social affairs in the Palestinian provisional government. He also held these positions in the emergency government formed in June 2007. He now serves as minister of waqf and religious affairs in the thirteenth Palestinian government. He was appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and on May 19, 2009 he was officially sworn in.

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Al-Habbash was born in 1963 in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza. He holds an MA in Islamic Studies and is currently studying for a PhD. Before recommencing his studies, he was a professor at al-Quds Open University. Al-Habbash was a cadre in Hamas until 1994, when he left the movement to become an independent candidate. He was arrested during the first Intifada on charges of incitement against the occupation.
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