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Home >> World
UPDATED: 20:04, May 14, 2007
Haneya takes over interior portfolio after minister resigns
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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya is to take over the interior portfolio, which left vacant after its minister Hani Qawasmi resigned on Monday amid high tension between Hamas and Fatah movements, Palestinian officials said.

"Prime Minster Ismail Haneya would take over the Interior Ministry," the deputy Prime Minister Azzam al-Ahmad told reporters.

Qawasmi, an independent minister but picked up by Hamas, submitted his resignation to Haneya hours after a deadly infighting between Hamas and Fatah members which claimed lives of two Palestinians.

"The Interior Minister affirms his resignation and he has stopped his duty," Khaled Abu Helal, spokesman for the interior ministry, told reporters in Gaza.

But Al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah leader who joined the Hamas-Fatah coalition government, said Qawasmi's resignation was politically motivated.

"His resignation is a deliberated action and he was manipulated to submit it and withdraw it..." said al-Ahmad.

Qawasmi held a news conference in front of his house to explain the circumstances that pushed him to resign.

"I wanted to have full powers and authorities in my hands and to have full authority on the security services... I don't want to be idle minister," Qawasmi said.

The Palestinian cabinet is to convene to discuss the resignation which comes as some eight people were killed in bloody clashes between Hamas and Fatah militants in Gaza.

Qawasmi has threatened to quit for several times before, complaining of a lack of due power.

Source: Xinhua

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