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1ST CABINET MEETING OF PALESTINE UNITY GOVT TO BE HELD AFTER EID AL ADHA

RAMALLAH, Oct 2 — The first cabinet meeting of the Palestinian unity government will take place in Gaza after the Eid al-Adha holiday, a Palestinian official said late Wednesday.

Hussein al-Sheikh, Minister of Civil Affairs, told Ma’an that the meeting is an important indicator of the agreement last week between Fatah and Hamas to let the unity government take control of Gaza.

It will also show Palestinians that the unity government is ready to provide services to citizens in Gaza, he added.

A committee of PA, UN and Israeli officials are due to meet on Thursday for further discussions of the entry of construction material to the Gaza Strip, al-Sheikh said.

Reconstruction will officially begin following a donor conference in Cairo on Oct. 12.

Palestinian teams will also begin work at the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossing to help facilitate the entry of goods.

Al-Sheikh said that under the ceasefire agreement, officials agreed to increase the capacity of Kerem Shalom to 700 trucks per day and Erez to 1,500 trucks.

Hamas has approved all procedures related to the reconstruction of Gaza, al-Sheikh added.

On the issue of salaries, al-Sheikh said that Qatar has offered a one-time payment of $30 million to cover any deficits, while Hamas and Fatah officials agreed in the last Cairo meeting to leave the issue to a committee of legal experts.

Additionally, the PA is suffering a financial crisis which could get worse as the PLO moves against Israel at the UN.

The PA is also restricted in paying former Hamas employees because the US does not approve of the payments, al-Sheikh added.

SOURCE: MA’AN

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