Quoting "informed sources", a website close to Hamas had claimed that Abbas was opposed to Mohammed Shbeir after the US, Israel and "certain Arab parties" had rejected the independent academic as "too close" to the Islamists.

"I categorically deny that president Abbas has rejected any of the candidates put forward by Hamas, including Mohammed Shbeir," the Palestinian Authority spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said.


Haniya refused to comment on the allegations and, speaking after Friday prayers in Gaza, described his talks with Abbas as "good and positive".


"The joint Hamas-Fatah committee will meet again today to continue consultations on the unity government," Haniya said.