Hamas Cabinet in Confidence Vote

The new Palestinian cabinet is to be presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council for approval.

Hamas Cabinet in Confidence Vote

The Hamas-dominated government, led by Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniya, is likely to win a vote of confidence, which is considered a formality.  The vote is expected on Monday, a day before Israel's general election, but could be delayed. Hamas says the cabinet will be sworn in by Wednesday.  The session follows a landslide victory by Hamas in January's elections.

The militant movement has been under pressure to recognise Israel - but has so far refused, saying this would mean accepting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

Meanwhile security sources in the Gaza Strip said Israeli troops killed a Palestinian militant as he and two others tried to launch a homemade rocket at Israel from the town of Beit Hanoun.

The Israeli military fired on the three from a tank and an aircraft as they approached the perimeter fence. The gunmen fired back but there were no casualties on the Israeli side.

Unconfirmed reports say the militant was a member of the Islamic Jihad group.

Israeli plan

The Palestinian parliament session is due to start at 1100 local time (0900 GMT) in Ramallah in the West Bank. Israel bans Hamas leaders from travelling to the West Bank from Gaza for security reasons, so Mr Haniya will deliver his speech by video link.

The main issue In Tuesday's Israeli election is the plan by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to withdraw from some Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Mr Olmert's centrist Kadima party - formed by Ariel Sharon who remains in a coma - is expected to get the largest number of seats.

Correspondents say that while Kadima will probably remain short of an overall majority, the Labour and Likud parties - which oppose the plan - are likely to remain in opposition.

Mr Olmert could form alliances with minor parties and retain control of the main cabinet posts.

Future aid

Hamas has been responsible for dozens of suicide bombings against Israel, and is branded a terrorist organisation by Israel, the EU and the US. The EU was the largest single donor to the Palestinians in 2005.

But it has warned future aid will depend on Hamas showing a commitment to work for peace. The BBC's Alan Johnston says that should Western donors refuse aid in future, Hamas is confident it will be able to turn for support to the Arab and Islamic world.

Israel says it will not deal with a Hamas-led Palestinian administration unless the group gives up armed struggle and recognises the state of Israel. The militant group has so far rejected such demands, but it has been observing an informal truce with Israel.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16