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Hamas Calls Parliament Session To Approve Cabinet

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (file photo) (RFE/RL) March 22, 2006 -- The Islamic militant group Hamas moved a step closer to governing the Palestinian territories today, calling a special session of parliament to approve its new cabinet on March 25.

Incoming Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah is forming a government with 24 Hamas supporters after no other movement agreed to join.

But the vote of confidence is expected to be a formality given that Hamas won a majority of parliament seats on the January elections.

The move comes amid increased tensions between Hamas and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas, who also chairs the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

(AP, AFP, Reuters)