Palestinian prime minister slams U.S.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh slammed the United States and its Western allies on Wednesday for demanding his Hamas group recognize Israel, but did not reject the temporary program to be set up to funnel urgently needed cash to the Palestinian Authority.

The money to be given to the Palestinians will be funneled directly to Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah Party, who supports holding peace talks with Israel.

Haniyeh cannot refuse the money, which he desperately needs to prevent a widespread humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But he criticized the United States, the European Union and the United Nations for demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, accept past peace deals and renounce violence.

"The Quartet brings from time to time conditions to force the government to concede the rights and recognize the legality of the occupation," Haniyeh said early Wednesday.

"I believe the government will remain faithful to the Palestinian rights and will keep seeking the equation that protects the Palestinian people. The financial crisis has never been a factor dividing the Palestinians. It will be a factor that unites them," he told reporters, reports the AP.

I.L.