8 Palestinian Ministers to Head to Gaza Monday

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Eight Palestinian unity government ministers are to travel to Gaza from its West Bank base on Monday for only the second time since its formation in June, a minister said.

8 Palestinian Ministers to Head to Gaza Monday

The government was the fruit of an April reconciliation deal between the Hamas movement and the Fatah organisation of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

But Abbas has repeatedly complained that Hamas has prevented it asserting its authority in Gaza, where the Hamas has been dominant since ousting Fatah loyalists in 2007.

The eight ministers are travelling to Gaza to "carry out their duties," labor minister Mamun Abu Shahla said.

He said security concerns sparked by a spate of bombings targeting the property of Fatah officials in Gaza early last month had prevented them from doing so sooner.

Abu Shahla said that prime minister Rami Hamdallah, who cancelled a planned visit to Gaza in the wake of the bombings, would not accompany the ministers, AFP reported.

"His duties have kept him in Ramallah where he is continuing talks with an Arab state which is soon going to disburse a large sum for the reconstruction of Gaza," the minister said.

He did not specify which country was offering the aid to rebuild the territory, which was devastated by a 50-day summer war between Israel and Hamas.

The eight ministers who are travelling to Gaza from the West Bank town of Ramallah are the ministers of health, education, social affairs and local government, and the heads of the water, power and environment agencies, who have ministerial rank.

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