Hamas and Fatah have agreed in principle to form a unity government that will not be led by current Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, officials said late Sunday.
Hamas movement took office in March after beating Fatah in parliamentary elections. “We have agreed on the political platform of the new government,” Hamas lawmaker and senior leader Yahya Moussa told Reuters. “The Hamas movement has also agreed that the next prime minister will not be Haniyeh.”
“The choice has been made for the next prime minister,” Moussa said. “His name will be presented to President Mahmoud Abbas. A joint committee will be formed to appoint the portfolios and to finalize other details.”
Mustafa Barghouthi, an independent lawmaker who has been mediating between the two sides, confirmed a tentative deal had been reached. “There is approval to form a new government headed by a new prime minister,” he said. “We are preparing for a meeting between President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh very soon.”
Some officials said Abbas was expected to meet Haniyeh in Gaza on Monday.