Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the militant Hamas group says he would refrain from heading a unity government if that would clear the way for restoration of Western aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Speaking after Friday prayers at a Gaza mosque, Mr. Haniyeh said Western powers do not want him in a new administration and that he is prepared to step aside to end the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction has been holding talks with Hamas on creating a unity government. But the process deadlocked over Hamas' refusal to agree on a moderate political platform that would recognize Israel and accept interim Israeli-Palestinian accords.
The West and Israel cut off funding to the Palestinian government after Hamas took power in March.
Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.