Lone Christian in Palestinian cabinet quits after violence

Factional fighting prompts tourism minister's resignation
The only Christian cabinet member in the Palestinian government headed by the Islamist Hamas movement has quit his post because of growing factional violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“I confirm to you that I have resigned from the government due to the violence that has occurred in the Gaza Strip,” Judeh Murqos said in a statement after sending a letter of resignation June 12 to Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

Murqos’s resignation as tourism minister was issued after Hamas militants fired rocket-propelled grenades into a security headquarters linked to the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

Supporters of Fatah and Hamas are locked in a power struggle over control of the Palestinian Authority and its security forces, following the sweeping victory of Hamas in Palestinian legislative elections in January.


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