Hamas prime minister shuffles Cabinet

September 2, 2012 - 6:39 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government has shuffled his Cabinet in a move that deepens divisions with the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Repeated attempts to reconcile and ultimately unite the territories under one government have failed.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's new Cabinet, like the previous one, consists solely of Hamas members.

Sunday's move was seen as a show of strength by Hamas, which has shown little interest in reconciliation as it consolidates control over Gaza. Any new ministerial appointments without consulting the West Bank reflected these deep divisions.

His interior minister, Fathi Hamad, will remain in place, overseeing security forces in Gaza, signalling that Hamas will maintain its tough stance against Israel.