JUNE 14 2011 14:29h

Fatah, Hamas meet to discuss government

Fatah, Hamas meet to discuss government

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CAIRO, June 14 (UPI) -- Representatives of Hamas and Fatah worked in Cairo Tuesday to form a transitional Palestinian government, Egyptian security sources told Ma'an news agency.

The meeting comes after Hamas balked at the nomination of current Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to the same post in the unity government. The London newspaper al-Hayat reported Hamas is pushing Ismail Haniyeh for the post. Elections are to be held within a year.

"We will not hand over the unity government to Fayyad, who has driven the West Bank into debt," said Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official.

Hamas and Fatah are trying to agree on a unity government following the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal between the two Palestinian factions. The deal led to the reopening of the Rafah crossing, allowing residents of Gaza to move somewhat freely between the Eygpt and the Gaza Strip.