Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has supported Hamas strongman Mohammed Dahlan as his nation’s next deputy prime minister, a report said. A top official in Abbas’ Fatah movement told Haaretz Wednesday the national leader has tabbed Dahlan to be deputy prime minister in Palestine’s new unity government.
Dahlan has a reputation as the most powerful Fatah figure in the Hamas-dominated region of Gaza.
The report of Dahlan’s potential appointment comes as Abbas is expected to name Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, another top Hamas official, as the head of Palestine’s new government.
Haniyeh has reportedly expressed concern that increased U.S. and Israeli pressure may cause Abbas not to name him to head the Palestinian government.
That concern has prompted Haniyeh to delay his resignation from his post until he learns whether he will be named leader of the new unity government, Haaretz said.