An "alternative" to the Palestinian "unity" government may be in the works, Hamas "political leader" Mahmoud Zahar stated late Thursday night, claiming that the Hamas-Fatah unity pact was only a "temporary arrangement."
According to Zahar, the unity pact signed in April, was "only meant to last six months, and after that, there are choices for alternatives." He did not mention the possibility of an election date, however.
In the interim, there "is no doubt that it is a failure," Zahar said of the unity government.
The announcement surfaces amid multiple reports over the past several months that the unity government itself has been slowly crumbling.
Differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge.
But those differences turned the factions explicitly against one another after Hamas staged dozens of executions of Palestinian Arabs allegedly "collaborating with Israel" - or working for Fatah - prompting at least one Fatah official to compare Hamas to global jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).
The IDF and the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) revealed last month that a large-scale coup had been planned by Hamas in Judea and Samaria to overthrow the PA and Abbas's Fatah party, in orders given from Hamas officials abroad.
Shortly after the plot was revealed, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said the information could have lasting implications for the Palestinian Arab people.
"This new information is a real danger to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future," Abbas stated, according to Channel 2 News. He stressed that the implications of the discovery "will be serious for the Palestinian and regional situation, especially after Israeli officials published a list and pictures of confiscated weapons."
Since then, Hamas has also refused the PA's demands that it supervise rebuilding in Gaza, sources say - furthering sowing discord between the two factions.
It was also Fatah who exposed Hamas's human trafficking operation of Palestinian civilians to Europe earlier this month.