Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to approve the new Hamas cabinet at a meeting with Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh this evening.All key posts have gone to Hamas loyalists and the Islamist militant group will govern alone after moderate factions refused to join a coalition. While Abbas is expected to approve Haniyeh’s list he has warned that a failure to adopt a less radical position could hurt Palestinian interests. It is an awkward situation for the European Union, the principal donor to the Palestinians. EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday to try to find a way to continue giving aid to the Israeli-occupied territories without dealing with Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organisation. It is not clear how much of the 800 million euros the Palestinians get in global foreign aid might be witheld once a Hamas government is in power. The United Nations is warning of the possibility of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because of Israel’s repeated closures of the main commercial crossing Karni. Basic foodstuffs such as oil and flour are running low. Israel has proposed a limited transfer of goods through Kerem Shalom, inside Israel, at the corner of the border with Gaza and Egypt. The Palestinians say it is too small but it looks as though it will serve as a temporary commercial crossing.
Abbas expected to give Hamas cabinet green light