(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority will overcome crippling international sanctions by using "patience," the top Palestinian envoy said Thursday.
The Palestinian government has been hit with crushing economic sanctions mainly by Israel, the United States and European nations because of Hamas' refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist.
"We are going to make an end of these sanctions by patience and by such (a) campaign I think we will succeed," Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar told The Associated Press in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad where he was on a two-day visit.
The Hamas terror organization swept January legislative elections in the Palestinian Authority, and the sanctions have rendered its government unable to pay months of salaries to tens of thousands of Palestinian civil servants.
Israeli military officials have said that Hamas has smuggled hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.
Zahar said the Palestinian Authority has paid salaries to "40,000 families." He did not elaborate.
During his Pakistani visit, Zahar met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Foreign Minister Kursheed Kasuri.
Pakistan on Wednesday promised US$3 million (â‚¬2.3 million) in aid to the Hamas government.