Haniyeh: Sudan to give PA gov't $10m

Palestinian PM to return to Gaza early to help resolve internal conflicts.

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December 13, 2006 12:21
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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had pledged US$10 million to the Palestinian government and people. Speaking at a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Haniyeh also said he would return to Gaza on Thursday, cutting short his trip abroad. When Haniyeh left Gaza on Nov. 28, he planned to travel for a month, but this drew criticism because of the need to conclude negotiations on a new government and the political violence raging in the Palestinian territories. In Gaza on Wednesday, Haniyeh's political adviser, Ahmed Youssef, confirmed the prime minister would return on Thursday on Friday, adding: "We need the prime minister to be here now to resolve the internal problems." Haniyeh dismissed fears of the violence in Gaza escalating to a civil war. Hours before he spoke, gunmen had ambushed and killed a judge and militant commander as he alighted from a taxi outside a court in Gaza. "We want to assure you that words such as 'civil war' don't exist in our dictionary. They don't exist in our makeup, in our culture," Haniyeh told reporters in Khartoum. "We don't have time for internal feuds. We will protect the national unity of the Palestinian people, and we will thwart any attempt to instigate an inter-Palestinian struggle." When Haniyeh took office in March, major donors cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority because of Hamas's refusal to recognise Israel and renounce violence. The authority quickly ran out of funds to pay its civil servants, sparking mass demonstrations which, in turn, have led to street battles between armed supporters of Hamas and Fatah. "President al-Bashir agreed, thankfully, to support the Palestinian people and the Palestinian government with 10 million dollars to lighten the siege on the Palestinian people," Haniyeh said Wednesday. Several senior officials of Hamas have returned to the Gaza Strip in recent months with suitcases packed with dollars.

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