The militant group Hamas has been presenting its cabinet and government agenda to the Palestinian parliament for approval. Held in Ramallah, the session was addressed via video-link from Gaza by Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh.
Citing security concerns, Israel has prohibited Hamas officials in the Strip from travelling to the West Bank. Haniyeh called for dialogue with international mediators to try to end conflict in the Middle East. But he gave no sign that the Islamic group would drop its commitment to destroy Israel or disarm. A vote of confidence on the cabinet and its policy programme is seen as a formality because Hamas holds the majority of seats after its landslide victory in January’s Palestinian elections.