Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gaza agency working with Blair seized by Hamas

By Adam Entous and Nidal al-Mughrabi

JERUSALEM/GAZA, June 5 (Reuters) - Hamas has seized control of the Palestinian water agency that is spearheading Middle East envoy Tony Blair's signature project in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian and Western officials said on Thursday.

Hamas's takeover of the Palestinian Water Authority in Gaza cements the group's control over the territory and could cast doubt on the future of the North Gaza Sewage Treatment Works project -- a centrepiece of an economic package touted by Blair to try to bolster the chances of a peace deal this year.

The seizure comes ahead of a planned tender by the Water Authority for building a water treatment plant, and amid delicate negotiations with Israel on bringing critical building supplies into Gaza, which Hamas Islamists seized a year ago

This is a major development. Read the entire article here

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