Hamas rejects Fayyad as next Palestinian PM

By the Associated Press | June 12, 2011 | 4:15 AM EDT

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, center, takes part in Friday prayers at a mosque following renovations undertaken after a fire, in the West Bank village of Al Mughayer, near Ramallah, Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas has rejected the rival Fatah movement's nominee to head a transitional Palestinian government, complicating plans to unify the dueling factions ruling the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas' objection could also compromise foreign support for the Palestinian Authority.

Fatah has nominated Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, to head the caretaker government.

Fayyad, a U.S.-educated economist, enjoys the respect of foreign donors. His reappointment would ease Western concerns that donor money would fall into the hands of Hamas, which the West considers a terror organization.

Hamas official Salah Bardawil told The Associated Press on Sunday that "Hamas will not agree to grant Salam Fayyad the confidence to run the national unity government."