- Title: GAZA / ISRAEL: Israel reopens main Gaza goods crossing for second consecutive day
- Date: 21st March 2006
- Summary: PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS ARRIVING (3 SHOTS) WOMEN TALKING TO ONE OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS COUNCIL MEMBERS ARRIVING (3 SHOTS) PALESTINIAN POLICE OFFICER OUTSIDE OF BUILDING
- Embargoed: 5th April 2006 13:00
- Topics: International Relations,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA9KYOW8481YRWS6MIN1TTFM9MK
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) met in Gaza City and the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday (March 21) as discussions continued over a proposed list of cabinet members for a new Hamas-led government.
The Islamic militant group unveiled its full cabinet list on Monday (March 20), as expected, putting loyal members in charge of all key ministries including the foreign affairs, interior and finance posts.
Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh gave the names to President Mahmoud Abbas late on Sunday (March 19) after Hamas failed to persuade rival factions to join, a sign of the success Israel and the United States have had in isolating the group.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a leader in Gaza whom Israel has tried to assassinate, was made foreign minister, according to the cabinet list, obtained by Reuters.
Another Hamas leader, Saeed Seyam, was named as interior minister, putting him in charge of several security agencies.
Seyam, Tuesday, spoke about the closure of key crossing points from Israel to Gaza, which has greatly restricted the transport of much needed food staples for Gaza's 1.6 million residents. Israeli officials say the crossing points have been closed due to security concerns.
"First of all, these threats are not new, and what Israel has done - it must take responsibility for it because at the moment our people feel they have nothing to lose - Israel will pay the price for the anger of the Palestinian people. We expect from the Arab nations, Islamic countries, governments and people to stand beside our people in front of this closure and against this cheap provocation," Seyam said before Tuesday's PLC meeting.
Hamas, sworn to destroy the Jewish state, has rejected demands that it recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept interim peace accords -- conditions for continued Western aid.
The aid is sorely needed in Gaza where a humanitarian crisis is looming.
Israel reopened the main goods crossing into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday (March 21) for the second time in as many days amid warnings by Palestinian officials and international aid agencies of an imminent food crisis.
Israel's Defence Ministry, which had closed Karni citing security concerns, declined to say how long Tuesday's opening would last.
Palestinians have reported shortages of bread and other staples in Gaza because of the closure of Karni, which handles most goods traffic with the Jewish state.
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