Abbas set to unveil new government

The Palestinian president is expected to swear in a new prime minister and emergency cabinet two days after he dismissed the Hamas-led government.

Abbas set to unveil new government
Mahmoud Abbas asked Salam Fayyad, the independent finance minister in the now disbanded unity government, to form a new cabinet after Hamas fighters took full control Gaza Strip.

Upheaval in the wake of Hamas's takeover continued in the West Bank on Saturday with Fatah fighters and activists storming a Palestinian parliament building in Ramallah to protest the move.

Fighters grabbed the deputy speaker, who is linked to Hamas, and dragged him from the building.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fighters, an offshoot of Fatah, stormed government offices and set up checkpoints to search for Hamas members.
Members of the group have also destroyed offices at an Islamic school, a cultural centre, charities, local television and local radio in the city of Nablus in apparent revenge attacks, witnesses and Hamas officials said.
Many Fatah supporters who live in Gaza fear reprisals from Hamas fighters.
Hamas fighters are still searching for their Fatah rivals to seize their weapons and at least 200 Fatah men have already fled the territory, by land or sea to neighbouring Egypt.
Israeli troops at the Erez checkpoint between Gaza and Israel fired warning shots at Palestinians who tried to cross into Israel to escape the violence.
Looting had also continued including from Abbas's  bullet-scarred seafront presidential compound and the home of former president and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat.
Technocrat government
In a boost for Abbas, the US will lift a direct ban on aid to the government once the new administration is announced, a US envoy told Abbas during a meeting in the West Bank.
The emergency government will have between 10 and 12 members and consist primarily of independent technocrats, he said.

"Most crucial will be the position of the minister of interior who will be in charge of security in the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip if possible," Walid Batrawi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Ramallah, said.

"We might see some Fatah officials but, of course, none of the Hamas people because the Palestinian Authority and the president consider that Hamas has carried out a coup."

Separation ruled out

Ismail Haniya, the former prime minister who has refused to accept his firing, has ruled out setting up a separate state ruled by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Last Mod: 16 Haziran 2007, 19:51
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