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Hamas and violence
Hamas and violence
The democratic choice of the Palestinians is Hamas. Now what does the world do? The US stops aid if hamas does not renounce violence as the laws say no aid for a terrorist organization. Hamas can look at the IRA and make the same choice they did. The status quo can get worse. Seems the Palestinian arabs always make the worst choice.
Hamas rejects donor 'blackmail'
A senior Hamas leader has rejected demands that the Islamic militant group renounce violence, to prevent aid cuts for the Palestinian Authority.
Ismail Haniya, who headed Hamas' election list, said they would not give in to "blackmail" by foreign donors.
President Bush warned US aid to the authority, worth $400m (£225m), may be cut following Hamas' surprise poll win.
In fresh unrest, gunmen from former ruling party Fatah climbed the Palestinian parliament and fired shots.
The demonstrators in Ramallah were demanding the resignation of the Fatah leadership. Parliament was not in session at the time.
In Gaza, police loyal to Fatah briefly occupied a parliament building to protest against any transfer of security responsibility to Hamas.
Earlier, there were more clashes in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The worst of the violence was in Khan Younis, where several people were wounded when Hamas activists exchanged fire with Fatah members.
Hamas won 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian assembly and has the backing of a further four independent MPs.
Mr Haniya told Reuters news agency: "This aid can not be a sword over the heads of the Palestinian people and will not be material to blackmail our people, to blackmail Hamas and the resistance. It is rejected."
But Mr Bush said the US would freeze aid unless the Islamic militant group renounced violence and stopped calling for Israel's destruction.
"If they don't, we won't deal with them," he told US TV channel CBS News. "Aid packages won't go forward."
Israel has indicated that newly elected Hamas legislators will not be granted free access between Gaza and the West Bank.
The BBC's Richard Myron in Jerusalem said it means Hamas MPs in Gaza will not be able to travel to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah in the West Bank, as they would have to cross Israeli territory.
Our correspondent says if Israel does chose to confine Hamas legislators to Gaza, it will make governing the divided territories even more difficult.
Aid in doubt
The Palestinian Authority has always been heavily reliant on international cash, and its main donors, the US, EU, Japan and Arab states, are reviewing their position.
"They've got to get rid of that arm of their party which is armed and violent and secondly, they've got to get rid of that part of their platform that says they want to destroy Israel," Mr Bush said.