Hamas in Israel-besieged Gaza fail over salary payments

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

Hamas in Israel-besieged Gaza fail over salary payments

Hamas has failed to pay the January salaries of many of the 34,000 Palestinian civil servants and security men in the Israel-besieged Gaza Strip.

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

"They paid some minor employees whose salaries were under 1,000 shekels ($260)," one police officer, who identified himself only as Abu Anas, said on Monday. "I am worried there is a financial problem."

Other Palestinians on the government payroll in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip also told Reuters they had not been paid.

A senior official at the Hamas-run Finance Ministry blamed the delay on new "technical procedures" under which cash is distributed at post offices and the newly established Palestinian Islamic National Bank.

"We have divided the employees into categories depending on their salaries. We began paying those with small salaries and I hope by end of this week all the other employees will be paid," he said.

Hamas usually settles its $16 million payroll at the beginning of each month.

A Palestinian Authority official has said Hamas uses tunnels to bring in money to pay employees. Hamas has said only that it has used means "above ground and underground" to import cash.

1.5 million Gazans still live under heavy Israel siege and Egypt still insists on not to opening the only Gaza border crossing in a move condemned by Muslims around the world in protests, leaving Gazans desperate to digging tunnels underground and risking their lives since 2007.

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists had also accused Israel of committing "genocide" through its crippling blockade of the Strip.


Agencies

Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2010, 17:13
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