Fatah Backs Fayyad Against Hamas

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is backing Salam Fayyad as his choice for Prime Minister despite Hamas' continued objections to his remaining.

Gabe Kahn.,

PA Prime Minister Fayyad
PA Prime Minister Fayyad
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas continues to back Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as his choice to lead a caretaker government, a senior Fatah official said on Wednesday.

Faysal Abu Shahla told the semi-official PA news outlet Ma'an that a decision would be made on who to appoint as head of the new government after Abbas' meeting with Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Cairo on November 27.

Abbas will reportedly explain to Mashaal why he seeks to appoint Fayyad to the role, Abu Shahla said.

Fayyad was appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority by Abbas in 2007 after Hamas broke its coalition with Fatah and seized Gaza in a bloody putsch. 

Earlier this year, Hamas rejected Fatah's nomination of Fayyad to lead an interim government to prepare for elections, saying he was too cooperative with Israel and the US.

However, Fayyad on Monday said he refused "to be used as a pretext for continuing the split" between the fueding factions and called on all parties to agree on his replacement.

Abbas and Mashaal will discuss the unity deal, the new government and slated elections when they meet in Cairo, Abu Shahla said. 

Including Hamas in the Palestinian Liberation Organization --the umbrella group dominated by Abbas' Fatah party -- will also be on the agenda, he added.

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