The Palestinian Legislative Council has approved the new cabinet in the Gaza government. As before, the government will be led by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who confirmed that the cabinet shuffle will not affect internal reconciliation moves. The Islamic Resistance Movement, he said, is ready to end the division with Fatah.
Mr Haniyeh saluted the work of the previous government team and acknowledged its prominent achievements in the field of healthcare, education, agriculture, the judiciary, the economy and security. When asked about the siege on the Gaza Strip, he said that it was intended to push the government into conceding the Palestinian national principles. "That plot," Haniyeh emphasised, "has failed, despite the obstacles put in the government's way."
The goal of the new government, he added, is to deal with the issues resulting from the siege. "We do our best to solve the problems affecting our citizens and facilitate a normal life for them," he said. The main problems relate to the supply of electricity and clean water; the disposal of household rubbish; and completing reconstruction projects.
According to the Prime Minister, the maintenance of good relations with the Arab countries and tackling poverty are at the top of the new government's list of priorities.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad