Hamas Rejects Fayyad to Head New Palestinian Government

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 10:35 am (UTC-5)
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The Palestinian militant group Hamas says Palestinian rival Fatah's nominee to head a future Palestinian unity government is not acceptable.

Fatah says it wants current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the helm of a new government.

A Hamas official said Sunday the organization will not hand over the unity government to Fayyad because, in the official's words, he “has sunk the West Bank into debt.”

Fatah controls the West Bank, and Hamas has ruled Gaza since it seized control of the coastal strip in 2007. The two recently signed a reconciliation agreement for joint authority.

Hamas has not been part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and has led hostilities against Israel. The U.S. State Department considers Hamas a terrorist organization.

Fatah officials say the movement's central committee has decided to expel former Fatah security commander Mohammed Dahlan. President Mahmoud Abbas' office has accused Dahlan of trying to topple the West Bank government.

Officials say they have recommended that his case be referred to the attorney general.