Palestinian unity govt ministers on Gaza visit

Eight ministers arrive in Gaza together with the energy authority head, the environmental quality authority head and 35 other civil servants

Palestinian unity govt ministers on Gaza visit

A delegation from the Palestinian unity government arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday from the West Bank for a week-long visit.

The delegation includes eight ministers and 35 officials from the Ramallah-based unity government.

"Every minister in the delegation will follow up the work of his ministry and will address outstanding issues," Public Works Minister Mofeed al-Hasayneh told The Anadolu Agency.

He said that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah may join the delegation in Gaza in the coming days.

Hamdallah had earlier announced that he will not be able to travel to the Gaza Strip with the delegation, citing "unforeseen circumstances."

This is the second visit by the unity government to the Gaza Strip since October, when Hamdallah and his government visited the blockaded territory for the first time.

In April, rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal that led to the formation of a unity government two months later.

The government, however, has yet to assume responsibility for the Hamas-run Gaza Strip

Israeli forces stage limited Gaza incursion

Meanwhile, Israeli forces staged on Sunday a limited incursion into the Gaza Strip, eyewitnesses have said.

Three Israeli military bulldozers stationed near the border pushed some 150 meters into farmlands in Gaza's southern Rafah city, eyewitnesses told The Anadolu Agency.

The bulldozers scooped a large tract of farmland before turning back, they added.

Israeli helicopters have also been seen flying at low altitudes along the border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel.

Israeli authorities have yet to comment on the incident.

Sunday's incursion comes a few days after Israeli forces killed a fighter from the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in Israeli shelling of southern Gaza.

The Israeli government later claimed that the aerial and artillery shelling came in response to the injury of an Israeli border guard by a Palestinian sniper.

Sunday's incursion was the second by Israel into the Gaza Strip this month, despite an August 26 cease-fire with Palestinian resistance factions.

The Egypt-brokered, open-ended cease-fire ended a seven-week Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli offensive, which began on July 7, left 2,160 Palestinians – the vast majority of them civilians – dead and more than 11,000 injured.

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Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2014, 14:28
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