Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas late last week indicated that he is going to form a new government without Hamas, after determining that reconciliation talks between his regime and the group are going nowhere.
A top aide to Abbas said that current Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad will be asked to form a new government in the coming week. Fayad resigned last month to make room in the government for a neutral candidate acceptable to both Abbas and Hamas.
Hamas won the last Palestinian legislative election in a surprise landslide, but was prevented by Abbas from fully assuming power. The group later responded by forcibly seizing control of the Gaza Strip.
Recent public opinion polls suggest that when the Palestinian Authority holds new legislative and presidential elections later this year, Hamas will score and even bigger victory.