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Hamas Leader: Suspension of Western Aid Will Not Hurt Palestinians


Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says his Hamas-led Palestinian government will not be brought down by the suspension of Western aid.

Mr. Haniyeh made the remarks Friday at a mosque in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He said the cash-strapped government will serve its full four-year term. He also said the Palestinian people are prepared to make sacrifices.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the European Union to reverse its decision to cut aid. Speaking during a visit to Morocco, he said the suspension will hurt average Palestinians, who have done "nothing wrong."

The latest remarks come as Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar began a fundraising tour of Arab nations in an effort to keep the government afloat. His trip is to include stops in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The United States and the European Union have cut aid to the Palestinian government since Hamas took control of parliament last month. Israel has withheld about $50 million in monthly tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas has said the Palestinian Authority is broke and has failed to pay the monthly salaries of 140,000 Palestinian government workers for the month of March.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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