February 26, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Gaza's Hamas leaders will sign a deal with the Qatari government to get more than 250 million U.S. dollars for reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas minister said on Sunday.

The deal is being finalized and will be signed in a week, said Yousef al-Mansi, Hamas minister of housing and public work.

Under the agreement, 5,000 houses will be built and 55,000 would be repaired, he told Xinhua, explaining that these houses were damaged during Israel's major military offensive more than three years ago.

The agreement also covers some infrastructure projects, the minister said.

Earlier this month, Qatar brokered a pact between Hamas supreme leader Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to the pact, Abbas will form an interim government to restore political unity to the Palestinian territories.

In 2007, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces, ousted his Fatah party and took over Gaza, leaving Abbas' rule confined to the West Bank.


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