Hamas and Fatah are edging closer to forming the unity government upon which they agreed last month, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
According to the report, during talks between Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmed and members of Hamas, the sides agreed that Rami Hamdallah, who served as Prime Minister of the outgoing Palestinian Authority (PA) government, will continue to head the new government as well.
The sides have also decided that an official announcement about the new coalition will be made next week.
Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk, who is in charge of the reconciliation talks on behalf of Hamas, told Al Jazeera that the new government will be announced next week after Ahmed's planned visit to Gaza, and it will be presented for approval of the PA parliament.
The identities of the remaining members of the government are unknown as of yet, but PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that Hamas will not be a part of the new unity government, nor will that government include representatives of other Palestinian Arab organizations.
Hamas, for its part, has been adamant over its full control of the new government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections.
Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and Marzouk has ruled out the possibility that Hamas will recognize “the Zionist entity,” even after the unity pact with Fatah.
This was reiterated on Tuesday by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who said in a speech in Qatar that, despite his group’s reconciliation with Fatah, Hamas was still committed to “resistance” against Israel.