A top Hamas official on Tuesday said the group will not be "blackmailed" by international threats to cut off aid to the Palestinians and said Hamas already is searching for new sources of funding.
Osama Hamdan, a member of the group's exiled leadership, spoke a day after international donors that support the Palestinian government said millions of dollars of aid could be in jeopardy if Hamas does not change its violent ways. Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide attacks, is poised to lead the next Palestinian government after winning legislative elections.
"We are looking for alternative sources and we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed," Hamdan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Beirut, Lebanon. "We will not accept any conditions from anybody. At the same time, we are ready for dialogue."