Hamas dismisses resignation call
The governing Palestinian group Hamas has dismissed a call for the resignation of the government made by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, described the call as "a coup."
It comes following an apparent breakdown in talks between Hamas and Fatah over the formation of a unity government.
Palestinian security officials have accused
The Israeli military denied the incident, saying that the navy had not fired on the boats.
"This is a coup," Barhoum said on Saturday.
"We cannot accept such a step, which is against Palestinian democracy and goes against the election results. The PLO doesn't represent the Palestinian people."
Ismael Haniyah, the Palestinian prime minister, who left last week for a tour of the Arab world, has told Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and head of Fatah, that in the past he would only step down once agreement had been reached on a new government.
On Saturday, Abbas met with a string of European dignitaries in
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the collapse of unity government talks took with them any hopes of ending the international economic sanctions on the Palestinian government.
After meeting with Abbas, Solana accused Hamas of missing its opportunity to form a unity government.
"Very sadly, I have to say the chance has been lost," said.
The executive committee of the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organisation has called on the Hamas-led government to resign so a new government can be formed.
The body met on Friday after Abbas declared that talks with Hamas on forming a unity government were dead.
"The Executive Committee stressed the necessity of implementing this step before beginning any new dialogue over a new government," a statement said.
Abbas has the authority to dismiss the Hamas government, but has been reluctant to do so because any new cabinet would need to be approved by the parliament, which is dominated by Hamas.