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Israeli restrictions 'preventing Gaza unity govt meeting'
Published Wednesday 04/06/2014 (updated) 05/06/2014 18:55
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Four Gaza-based ministers of the Palestinian unity government
participate in the government's first meeting via video conference
Tuesday (MaanImages)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Ministers of the new Palestinian unity government are planning a cabinet meeting in the Gaza Strip, but Israel continues to deny them permits to travel, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Ehab Bseiso told Ma'an that the ministers want to meet in Gaza to discuss the situation in the blockaded enclave, but that Israel has revoked the VIP status of Palestinian government members.

Meanwhile, four members of the new unity government still have not been officially sworn into office, given that Israel rejected their requests to travel to Ramallah for Monday's inauguration ceremony, Bseiso said.

He said the government is trying to find a legal way for Gaza ministers to be sworn in despite Israeli restrictions.

The four Gaza-based ministers are Mamoon Abu Shahla as minister of labor, Haifa al-Agha as minister of women's affairs, Mufeed al-Hasayna as minister of housing and public works, and Salim al-Saqqa as minister of justice.

The four ministers partook in the government's first official meeting on Tuesday via video conference call.

Though Israeli officials were furious over the creation of a unified West Bank-Gaza government, the US, the UN, and the EU expressed support for the new Palestinian government as long as it respected previous agreements, was committed to nonviolence, and recognized Israel.

Hamas ceded power over Gaza to the new government on Monday after signing a historic reconciliation deal with the Fatah-led PLO in April.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
04/06/2014 20:26
Israel owes Hamas nothing. Should Hamas change its charter and end its aggression against Israel, the situation almost certainly would change.

2 ) Michael Collins / Eire
05/06/2014 13:44
I'm sure the feeling is mutual Outlier #1 & the Likud Charter of 1999 also makes interesting reading. Zionists have the right to settlement building on what is clearly Palestinian land & denies the Palestinians the right to have their own state & autonomy (of course the stance may have softened slightly). Likud, I believe, also endorses strong military action against its perceived aggressors. With two strong opposing forces, the option of discourse between the sides might be a good game changer.

3 ) Outlier / USA
06/06/2014 05:33
2., Michael, I find your comment interesting, but flawed. Hamas and Gaza have been flagrantly aggressive against Israel - no "perceived" about it. In virtually every case of "tit for tat" action across the border, Hamas or its proxies have launched the first "tit." When Hamas changes its charter regarding Israel and ends its aggression, then discourse can begin. Not until.
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