The Jerusalem Post
February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian sources familiar with the details of a unity government deal being discussed by Hamas and Fatah representatives, said that the proposed government would be headed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and will include members from both factions and independents, Al-Hayat reported Thursday.

According to the report, the sources say that the plan has already been accepted by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and a number of Hamas leaders. The unity deal allows Hamas to continue ruling in the Gaza Strip as long as it refrains from violence.

A sources quoted by Al-Hayat said that several Hamas figures have welcomed the plan, and that one of the group's leaders in Gaza, Mahmoud a-Zahar is open to the proposal.

On Wednesday, Fayad said he was willing to go to Gaza to discuss with Hamas the unity deal, Israel Radio reported.

Hamas previously responded with suspicion to the recent offer. One of the group's Salah al-Bardawil on Monday said that "Fayyad does not represent the Palestinian leadership" and that due to his lack of legitimacy, the PA prime minister is "not authorized to speak about public affairs," Ma'an reported.

On Monday, Nabil Shaath, a top official in the Fatah Party, told The Associated Press that he would go to Gaza soon to negotiate with Hamas leaders to work out the terms for a unity dea


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