RAMALLAH, West Bank, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was nominated Sunday as the new Palestinian Authority prime minister.
Haniyeh said Israel's decision to halt the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority "does not scare the Palestinian people," the newspaper Ha'aretz reported.
Haniyeh said Israel's new sanctions "were meant to force the Palestinians down to their knees ... we've handled challenges in the past and we will be able to stand up to future challenges as well."
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel was to halt the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority effective immediately.
Abdel Aziz Duaik, a Hamas legislator and the new parliament speaker, called on Israel to reconsider its decision, the newspaper said. Duaik said the move was motivated by electioneering ahead of Israel's March 28 national election. "This is a faulty decision, and the Israelis must reconsider their decision... It will only increase hatred," he said.