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THE WORLD

Thousands March to Back Hamas

September 30, 2006|From the Associated Press

GAZA CITY — Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters marched Friday in the Gaza Strip amid a drop in the militant group's popularity since it won Palestinian parliamentary elections in January.

Western governments and Israel have cut off financial ties, demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and respect accords with Israel.

The loss of aid has prevented the Palestinian Authority from paying full salaries to its 165,000 employees. Many have responded by striking and calling for the Hamas government to resign.

Marchers in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Friday were rejecting "attempts to carry out an internal coup" against the government, Hamas lawmaker Mushir Masri said.

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