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Israel bans Qatari funds, stops ex-Hamas employees from getting salaries

Israel has blocked Qatari funds, aimed at covering the cost of the salaries of former Hamas employees, from being transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestinian Minister of Labour Ma’moun Abu-Shahla said yesterday.

Speaking to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Abu-Shahla said that Israel had put pressure on international organisations to prevent the transfer of the funds.

Abu-Shahla said the situation of the employees recruited by the Palestinian government run by Hamas between mid-2007 and May 2014 is going round in circles.

Israel refused to recognise the Palestinian unity government that ended a seven-year rift between Palestinians. It also criticised the US and EU because they recognised the government despite the fact that they blacklisted Hamas, which makes up part of the unity government.

Qatar pledged to pay $60 million within three months to pay the salaries of the former Hamas-run government in Gaza.

The Palestinian unity government, which was announced on June 2, only paid the salaries of the former Fatah-run government’s employees.

About 40,000 employees with a monthly salary of $35 million were not paid. They threatened to protest if they were not paid this month. It has been three months since the employees were last paid.

MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad

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