Rami Hamdallah is the new Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, replacing Salam Fayyad. Hamdallah has been serving as President of An Najah University in Nablus, and is a professor of applied linguistics. The PA is struggling with an economic crisis and his appointment has been criticized by Hamas, which claims it violates the agreement on trying to find a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Haaretz called him "a good man on a suicide mission" today.
Choosing a respected academic not overly identified with the politics of Fatah is probably wise; whether he will face the same obstacles Fayyad encountered remains to be seen, and Fayyad at least had the advantage of being a favorite of the West and of Israel (which, in the end, turned out to be a disadvantage as well).