Hamas announces cabinet reshuffle in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Mr Ismail Haniya, announced a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, appointing seven new ministers including a new finance minister.
Mr Haniya said the reshuffle was "normal procedure after nearly six years of work by some ministers and in order to achieve specific goals for the current period." The reshuffle was approved by a meeting of members of the Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council.
But the meeting included only Hamas members of the government, which has been largely non-functional since the group won an overwhelming victory in 2006 elections, sparking a domestic Palestinian political crisis.
The surprise election victory escalated long-running tensions between Hamas and rival party Fatah, which spilled over into fighting in the summer of 2007. The violence left the West Bank and Gaza divided, with Fatah governing the West Bank and Hamas the Gaza Strip.