Hamas submits ministerial names to Palestinian PM

Hamas gave Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh its list of nominees for ministerial posts in a national unity cabinet on Saturday, but a source in the Islamist movement declined to reveal the names.Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction signed a power-sharing deal last month in Saudi Arabia that stemmed factional fighting, but a unity government has yet to emerge.

Haniyeh of Hamas is due to meet Abbas in Gaza on Sunday to discuss the coalition, but the Hamas source said no announcement was likely because the two groups have yet to agree on who will fill the posts of interior minister and deputy prime minister.

The source said Hamas’s list contained no ministers, former ministers or lawmakers from Gaza, although some Hamas ministers from the West Bank might take part in the new line-up.

Abbas aide Azzam al-Ahmed said after a late-night meeting with Haniyeh on Friday the Fatah list could be ready by Sunday and that the government could be formed by the end of the week.#

Abbas and Haniyeh had originally been due to meet on Saturday but the meeting was put back to Sunday.

The unity deal reached in Mecca did not meet conditions set by a quartet of international mediators for a resumption of aid that was suspended when Hamas came to power a year ago.

The agreement says past Israeli-Palestinian pacts will be “respected”, but does not commit the new government to recognise Israel and renounce violence as demanded by the Quartet.

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