Abbas postpones Hamas-less gov't amid internal rebellion

Friday, May 15, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was forced to postpone the formation of a new Hamas-less government this week when members of his own Fatah faction threatened to revolt.

Abbas and his prime minister, Salaam Fayad, had opened the way for Hamas, which won the last legislative election, to rejoin the internationally-recognized Palestinian government, but reconciliation talks over the past month failed to produce an agreement.

Most Fatah officials were pleased with the decision to move forward without Hamas and that Fayad had agreed to stay on as prime minister, but were less than happy with Fayad's alleged intention to shut Fatah out of his cabinet, too.

Fayad heads the Third Way political faction, and it was rumored that he would appoint ministers from his own party, as well as independent candidates, with the blessing of Abbas.

Commentators are calling the situation the worst crisis Abbas has faced since taking over the Palestinian Authority following Yasser Arafat's death in 2005.

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