Hamas expanded its administration in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in an effort to strengthen its hold on the coastal territory, a senior official from the Islamist group said.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's decision to add another six ministers to his Gaza cabinet opposes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's demand that the group hand over control of the enclave.
A senior Hamas government official told Reuters that the six new ministers are pro-Hamas and include a Gaza mayor and a lecturer at Gaza's Islamic University.
In the West Bank, Fatah spokesman Fahmi al-Zarir critized Hamas's move, suggesting the Islamist group was not serious in its calls for reconciliation with Abbas.
Hamas defeated Abbas's long-dominant Fatah movement in parliamentary elections in January 2006.
In an effort to end the Western boycott, Abbas and Haniyeh agreed to form a unity government in March 2007, but the administration collapsed a few months later amid factional fighting that culminated in Hamas's takeover of Gaza.
Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government and formed a Western-backed cabinet in the occupied West Bank.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2008, 15:07