In reaction to Fayyad nod, Hamas reportedly taps Haniyeh

Senior Hamas official tells 'Al-Hayat' PA Prime Minister cannot run unity government because he is partial to US, Israeli interests.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 14, 2011 12:35
1 minute read.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.

ismail haniyeh_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

 
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As Hamas and Fatah meet in Cairo Tuesday to discuss the formation of a new unity government, tensions regarding who may lead the new leading body continue to rise.

In a tit-for-tat move, a senior Hamas official told pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat that Hamas would nominate Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to lead the new unity government if Fatah insisted on keeping Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as their sole nominee.

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According to the official, Hamas could not accept Fayyad as the head of the new government because "he is in agreement with American and Israeli political positions despite the fact that it was agreed that the [Hamas-Fatah reconciliation government] would be based on a Palestinian platform without a political agenda."

Hamas rejected Fayyad's nomination only hours after its announcement last Sunday, with Hamas official Salah Bardawil saying "[We] will not agree to grant Salam Fayyad the confidence to run the national unity government."

Under the reconciliation agreement signed last month, both parties are supposed to nominate candidates for the unity government and then agree over its makeup.

According to a poll conducted between May 31 and June 4 with a random sample of 1,198 Palestinian in Gaza and the West Bank, the majority of Palestinians feel Salam Fayyad is the most appropriate candidate for the job of leading the new government.

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