Israel causes shortage of cash in Gaza banks

Large shipments take place only several times a year.

Israel causes shortage of cash in Gaza banks
Israel has not allowed the cash into the Gaza Strip banks which face a currency shortage that could prevent Palestinian Authority workers from receiving their salaries, Palestinian and Western officials said on Tuesday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad plans to pay salaries to public workers on Thursday, but the officials said Israel has yet to allow the banks to bring 100 million Israeli shekels ($28 million) into the Gaza Strip for payday.

Palestinian Authority workers in the Gaza Strip get their salaries by withdrawing cash from bank teller machines. Without a cash infusion, officials say, banks in the territory may not have enough shekels to cover workers' withdrawals.

Israel allowed a small shipment of shekels into the Gaza Strip last week to replace bills that were worn out, the officials said.

Large shipments take place only several times a year.

Palestinian and Western officials said the United States and the European Union have intervened with Israel, seeking approval to allow the shekels into the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian officials say Israel has yet to say whether it will allow the cash into the Gaza Strip in time. Israeli officials had no immediate comment.

In a statement on Monday, Fayyad said his government has received $42 million from the United Arab Emirates and was working to complete procedures to obtain another $80 million from Kuwait.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2008, 11:13
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