Abbas 'leaning toward' PM Fayyad dismissal: unnamed official

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas could dismiss prime minister Salam Fayyad, a Fatah member said on Friday, as the party officially criticised the premier's government for the first time.

Abbas "is leaning towards dismissing Fayyad from the head of the government and forming a new one," a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said the key factor was a disagreement over the resignation of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's finance minister, which Abbas refused to accept but Fayyad consented to.

"Abbas informed Fayyad that if Nabil Qasis did not return to the finance ministry... Abbas would dismiss his government and form a new one," the official said.

Fatah's Revolutionary Council -- one of the party's governing bodies -- also officially criticised Fayyad's government for the first time on Friday.

"The policies of the current Palestinian government are improvised and confused in many issues of finance and the economy," it said in a statement.

na/jad/boc