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Gaza Unity Minister Was Hamas Education Minister

US has claimed PLO unity gov't doesn't include Hamas; one minister sworn in via video feed was minister in Hamas government.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/13/2014, 9:33 AM

Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh
Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

The American administration has justified its decision to "work with" the new Fatah-Hamas unity government, sworn in last Monday, on the claim that it does not include Hamas ministers.

However, at least one Gaza-based minister in the new government was previously a minister in the terrorist group Hamas's government.

Four unity government ministers from Gaza were sworn in via a video conference on Thursday afternoon, after Israel blocked entry to Judea and Samaria to them for the swearing in ceremony last week.

Arab Ma'an News Agency reports that the four include Minister of Public Works Mufeed al Hasayneh, Minister of Women's Affairs Haifa al-Agha, Minister of Labor Mamoun Abu Shahla, and Minister of Justice Salim al-Saqqa, all of whom were sworn in from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Gaza.

Al-Agha was formerly the director of the Hamas government's Ministry of Education.

The revelation comes from the website of The Jerusalem Fund, a Washington DC-based anti-Israeli NPO. On the group's "Palestine Center" educational program's blog on Monday, a brief bio of each minister in the unity government was posted.

On the blog, al-Agha is listed as having received a PhD in Educational Studies from Oklahoma State University before working at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. She was then director of internal control for the Ministry of Education of the Fatah government, and director general of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Education Ministry in Gaza.

After Hamas violently wrested control over Gaza from Fatah in 2007, al-Agha immediately took over as director of the Ministry of Education under the terrorist group's government.

It should be noted that Hamas's Education Ministry has been strongly indoctrinating hatred of Israel and encouraging violent "resistance."

"Tricking the US"

It has been charged that the formation of the unity government as a "non-partisan, independent government" of "technocrats" is an attempt to deflect criticism over Hamas's involvement.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that the government would be under his control and not include Hamas. Meanwhile a former Hamas government spokesman revealed on Sunday that Abbas told Hamas in private meetings he is lying in those public statements to "trick the Americans."

Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of the government, and said it would be subject to their approval before being established. Since the unity government was sworn in, it stated that it remains committed to its goals of terrorism and the annihilation of Israel.

Casting a shadow of doubt over how much the American administration is being "tricked" by Abbas are reports last Thursday from Buzzfeed, claiming that the US has been negotiating with Hamas for months, despite its official policy against the terrorist organization. US officials denied the reports.