June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Representatives of Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian rivals, are to meet Tuesday in Cairo to discuss forming a unity government among increasing differences on the candidate of the prime minister.

The meeting is the second one since the two movements signed an Egyptian-brokered agreement to end political division between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.

When the two movements met on May 14, they discussed the independent candidates who may lead the technocratic government that will administer Gaza and the West Bank according to the agreement.

Fatah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, nominated Saturday the current Prime Minister Salam Fayad for the new government.

Hamas however rejected Fayyad's nomination, saying his name was not on the list as he was a cause of the internal split. Abbas appointed Fayyad, the U.S.-trained economist, to lead the government in the West Bank after Hamas routed Abbas's forces and took over Gaza in June 2007.

Analysts and observers warned that the differences between Hamas and Fatah will delay the implementation of the agreement on the ground.

On Monday, Fatah said Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' top leader, may meet to settle the dispute on the issue of the prime minister.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017