Haniyeh criticizes US for restricting ties

The new Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, criticized the US on Sunday for restricting diplomatic ties with the Hamas government, saying his people were being punished for electing the militant Islamic group. "This government was elected in a free and honest election, and according to the democratic principles the American administration is calling for," Haniyeh told a group of supporters who had come to his office to wish his new government well. "We believe this is a punishment of the Palestinian people because of its democratic choice, and at the same time, it increases the people's suffering," he said.