Hamas starts paying compensation to Gaza victims by cheques

Gaza government said it had started giving cheques, rather than cash handouts, to families whose homes were destroyed during Israel's 22-day offensive in the territory.

Hamas starts paying compensation to Gaza victims by cheques

Hamas's government in the Gaza Strip said on Friday it had started giving cheques, rather than cash handouts, to families whose homes were destroyed during Israel's 22-day offensive in the territory.

Ahmed al-Kurd, Hamas's welfare minister, said the government gave cheques worth 4,000 euros ($5,000) to 2,700 families whose houses were completely demolished.

More than 5,000 homes were destroyed during the offensive, said Gaza government.

Gazans live under heavy Israel siege for a long time 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.

"This is the start of the campaign and we are continuing until we reach all those who suffered," Kurd said. "People can cash the cheques on Sunday when banks open."

Hamas government in Gaza had initially promised to pay 4,000 euros in cash on Sunday but it later said it needed more time to assess the damage.

There is a shortage of banknotes in Gaza so it is unclear if banks will cash the cheques.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1300 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

Reuters
Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2009, 14:53
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