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Hamas PM to Meet Abbas over Control of Gaza Borders
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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya said on Thursday that he would meet President Mahmoud Abbas later in the day over Abbas' appointment of a close associate to head security forces responsible for Gaza border crossings.

The severe financial shortages that the Hamas cabinet is facing will also be discussed, Haneya said at a press conference.

In a presidential decree issued late on Wednesday, Abbas appointed Rasheed Abu Shbak, a senior member of Abbas' Fatah movement, as head of internal security services in charge of Gaza border crossings.

European monitors are currently deployed at the key Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border.

Speaking at the first meeting of his Hamas cabinet on Wednesday, Haneya said that the Palestinian treasury was empty.

Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, defeated Abbas' long-dominant Fatah movement in the January legislative elections. The new Hamas-led cabinet was formally sworn in last week.

The Hamas cabinet is facing severe financial shortages as Israel halted the monthly transfer of tax revenues and the Quartet of key Mideast mediators-- the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia-- threatened to cut crucial aid to the Hamas cabinet unless the group renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist and accept previous deals including the interim peace accords.

(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2006)

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