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Palestinian Prime Minister Asks Workers to Cancel Strike

The Palestinian prime minister has appealed to Palestinian workers to call off a strike scheduled to begin on Saturday.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh especially urged teachers to report to work. He spoke Friday as he helped pick up trash in Gaza City where sanitation workers have been striking.

Earlier this week, public employees in the Palestinian territories held large demonstrations, demanding their salaries.

The Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay the wages of more than 165,000 civil servants. The European Union and the United States suspended aid payments to the Palestinian government after Hamas took power earlier this year.

In other news, Israeli newspapers are reporting that a delegation from the Jewish state is in Cairo. The Israelis are trying to negotiate the release of an Israeli soldier that militants captured at the end of June.

The abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit triggered an Israeli offensive in Gaza. More than 200 Palestinians in Gaza have died from Israeli fire since June.

The newspapers are citing a report in a Saudi newspaper that says the abductors are demanding the release of 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit.

The Israeli government has not commented. It has said it will not swap prisoners for the soldiers' release.

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