Talks on Palestinian unity government delayed
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Monday canceled a scheduled meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh during which the two were to review the formation of a unity government, a spokesman for Abbas said.
The cancellation came a day after Palestinian Minister for Refugee Affairs Ataf Adwan, who is a Hamas member, made remarks critical of Abbas. Adwan slammed Abbas for failing to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority employees despite the ample funds available to him.
Abbas' office responded negatively to the accusations, calling Adwan ignorant and charging him with intervening in matters with which he is not familiar.
Sources in Gaza said Monday that the rift between the parties is not possible to bridge at the moment.
Meanwhile, an Israeli military court ruled on Monday to hold 18 Palestinian ministers and lawmakers from the ruling Hamas party in prison until their trial is over. The military prosecutor's office had appealed a court decision last week ordering the lawmakers freed on bail while the court proceedings continue.
One of the detainees, Abdelaziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, said in response that the decision was 'political.'