Fatah ministers cut short Gaza visit over Hamas dispute

Updated 21 April 2015

Fatah ministers cut short Gaza visit over Hamas dispute

GAZA: Palestinian Cabinet ministers from the occupied West Bank cut short a visit to Gaza on Monday over disputes between the Western-backed Fatah movement and Hamas which dominates the territory, officials said.
Palestinians in Gaza had hoped Fatah, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas could resolve a crisis over salaries owed to about 40,000 public servants hired by Hamas in the past eight years it has dominated the Gaza Strip.
Resolving the issue is crucial to Western hopes of Abbas’s government taking control of Gaza crossings and facilitating an effort to rebuild tens of thousands of buildings destroyed during the five-week July-August war.
An official close to the 11-member West Bank delegation accused Hamas-controlled security officers of barring ministers from heading from a Gaza beachfront hotel to their offices during what was to have been a weeklong stay, which was cut to 24 hours.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied the allegations and countered that the West Bank ministers had sought to meet with senior employees at the hotel instead of going to their offices. Abu Zuhri also said his group had not been consulted over the makeup of the committee set up to resolve the salaries issue, which he said was dominated by Fatah.
“We urge the government to continue to bear its responsibility toward Gaza employees without discrimination,” he said.
Talal Okal, a Gaza political analyst, said the sides also differed over a decision by Hamas lawmakers to tax goods imported through Israel. “Only ministers should levy taxes and not Hamas,” he said.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.