Hamas Ministers Eat Beans’ Sandwiches at Their First Meeting

The news story should in fact be added to the news, reported a couple of days earlier, that Hamas-based Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya had refused the promotion of his son, recommended by his chief before the formation of the Hamas government, to the post of a director at the agency where he works.
These are good signs that the Hamas government will succeed, God willing, in presenting to the world a model of a Muslim Brotherhood government in practice.

 It is a message to every head of Arab State or government -and in fact far beyond- that there are honest people who do not profit from their seats of government to make personal gains and that their ultimate and most sublime objective is to gain the pleasure of God.

Knowledgeable sources have revealed that the Palestinian government, which held its first meeting on Wednesday, 5 April 2006, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya, had a meal consisting of sandwiches of beans, chick-peas and ‘falafel’.
 It was reported that when the ministers felt hungry at the meeting which lasted from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., the prime minister proposed to bring sandwiches of beans, chick-peas and ‘falafel’, as a practical application of the belt-tightening and expenditure-compression policy of the government.
 The proposal was welcomed by all ministers.
This denotes the sense of responsibility that the government has in dealing with public finance at a time when it suffers from a suffocating financial crunch that has cast its shadow on all citizens, the majority of whom have not received their monthly pay and face extremely difficult circumstances as a result of Zionist (Israeli) closures and blockades in Palestine and international pressures on the government formed by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
The prime minister affirmed to reporters that ministers of his government would not receive their salaries for the current month except after salaries of all employees and stipends of families of prisoners of war and martyrs were paid. Reporters saw for themselves the arrival of the sandwiches to the premises of the Council of Ministers, but they first thought that they were intended for escorts or security personnel.

The first cabinet meeting was held via a closed video link (video conferencing) between the cities of Ramallah and Gaza because of the refusal by occupation authorities to allow Palestinian ministers to move between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It is worth mentioning that the Hamas movement, which came to power on the basis of its Program for Change and Reform, had been an outspoken critic of the absence of transparency in government institutions and pledged itself to eradicating nepotism as well as recruitment and promotion based on factors alien to efficiency and qualifications.