In the Arab world there are some countries that have keep the older Thursday-Friday weekend, while some countries have a Friday-Saturday weekend. Because of globalization, there is a recent trend to move to Friday-Saturday weekend. Only last year, the UAE switched to the new system and there are calls in Saudi Arabia to do the same, but they are very conservative and may be the last to change. The reason for the change is the the Europeans, US, and Far East, the main trading partners, have Saturday-Sunday weekend. You want to be as nearly parralel to them as you can and not have 4 days in the week when one of two dealers is off the job. Looking at neighboring countries, Jordan, Syria, Israel, are on Friday-Saturday off while Egypt has Thursday-Friday off. It seems the Palestinians so far have made half a transition to the more modern weekend. From this point of view, the Fayyad government decision makes sense; all Palestinians should be on the Friday-Saturday weekend. Why would Hamas object? I think the reason is simply political. Hamas considers the Fayyad government as illegal and does not want to recognize their decree. Once a unity government is establishes, one could expect Hamas to switch the weekend in the same way.
Woman moderately wounded by firebomb thrown at her car in north J'lem (Haaretz)
from the article: Spoiling for a fight