Its inability to win over more moderate factions could make it harder for Hamas to govern, as well as bolster efforts by Israel and the US to isolate the government that the Islamist resistance movement is forming.

Salah al-Bardaweel, a spokesman, said on Friday: "The government will be ready tomorrow with its formation and its ministers, but we will not announce the government before we hand it over to the president."

Hamas defeated the Fatah movement of Abbas, the president, in elections in January. But it has been unable to reach an agreement with any rival Palestinian factions on forming a coalition.

 

The group has said it is prepared to form a government on its own.

 

The deadlock

 

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, told Aljazeera: "Hamas has spared no efforts in trying to reach an agreement on forming a national unity government."

 

He said Hamas disagreed with Fatah's programme and vowed that the group would stick to its own.

 

"Hamas will not agree on Fatah's political programme as it has its own programme by which it won elections."

Abu Zuhri added that the Hamas programme looked after "the interests of the Palestinians who elected Hamas".

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of Fatah's bloc at the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Aljazeera from Ram Allah that Fatah's dialogue with Hamas was "ineffective".

 

Hamas ministers

 

Al-Bardaweel said the list of ministers will be submitted to Abbas on Saturday if he goes ahead with a visit to the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas officials.

 

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader in Gaza, whom Israel has tried to assassinate, would be appointed foreign minister, Hamas sources said.

 

Saeed Seyam, another Hamas leader, would become interior minister, giving him control over three Palestinian security agencies.

 

Recognise Israel

 

Al-Zahar is tipped to become
Palestinian foreign minister

Abbas has demanded that Hamas abide by interim peace deals and recognise Israel.

 

Hamas has so far rejected such calls. It said in its draft programme published last week that the decision whether to recognise Israel rested with the Palestinian people, not with any political group or party.

 

Abbas had given Hamas two weeks to clarify its position before it presents an administration to parliament for a confidence vote. Hamas has an absolute majority in parliament.