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Jun 20,2007
Hamas calls Western funding 'blackmail'
by UPI

GAZA - U.S. and European leaders are trying to blackmail Palestinians by funding President Mahmoud Abbas' newly reorganized government, Hamas leaders charged.

Hamas leaders reacted Tuesday to the decision by the United States and the European Union to lift a financial aid embargo against the Palestinian Authority, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

"They are refusing to accept the results of a free and democratic election that brought Hamas to power," Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri said to the newspaper.

Abbas reorganized his government and banned Hamas members after Hamas took control of Gaza last week. Abbas appointed Salaam Fayad, a moderate as the authority's new prime minister.

Fayad Tuesday named a prominent Muslim leader from Gaza as social welfare and agriculture minister. Sheik Mahmoud Habbash said he agreed to join Fayad's Cabinet because he felt it was his "national duty at this very sensitive and difficult stage," the report said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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