Mahmoud Zahar became the first senior official from Hamas or Fatah to
announce the delay in the reconciliation effort. In an interview with
Jordan's Al Dustour daily on June 28, Zahar blamed Abbas for the setback.
Zahar, in an assertion confirmed by his colleagues, said Abbas has
refused to accept Hamas nominations for PA prime
minister. Instead, Abbas has insisted that Prime Minister Salam Fayad,
supported by the European Union and United States, continue in his post for
at least the next year.
Abbas was also said to have refused to reactivate the Palestinian
Legislative Council. Zahar said the PA chairman did not want the PLC to vote
on the Fatah-Hamas government, a key element in the April 27 accord.
The Hamas statement came after PA and Fatah officials asserted that a
national unity government was imminent. Senior PA officials said the
government should have been announced in early June.
"We signed the reconciliation accord which stated that
choosing the prime minister and the ministers would be done through
agreement," Hamas leader Khalil Al Haya said on June 27.