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New Hamas cabinet approved by lawmakers

Aug. 27, 2012 3:56 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2012 11:14 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Sunday that they had secured approval a day earlier from Hamas lawmakers for a cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh presented the new ministerial list to Palestinian Legislative Council members in Gaza, ahead of the third reshuffle since he formed a government in 2007.

The PLC has not met formally since then, when fierce factional clashes split the West Bank and Gaza into rival governments, with Fatah leading the Ramallah based Palestinian Authority.

But the Gaza government asserts that as Hamas won the last parliamentary elections in 2006, its lawmakers are able to make majority decisions even if the whole body is not sitting.

Some key ministers are expected to remain in their posts including minister of interior Fathi Hammad and minister of education Osama al-Muzayni. Said Zhazha is slated for the finance portfolio, as well as deputy prime minister.

When the reshuffle was floated this summer, an aide to Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas slammed the measure as maintaining the separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip governments.

Abbas reshuffled the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority cabinet in May, drawing similar criticism from Hamas.
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