The de facto government run by Hamas in the Gaza Strip has slammed the decision of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to force early retirement upon more than 6,000 state employees in the enclave, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday. The Islamic Resistance Movement described the move by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah as “unethical and inhumane” and insisted that it has nothing to do with the internal division between Hamas and Fatah.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum insisted that PA President Mahmoud Abbas must step in and cancel the plan, and carry out his duty toward the residents of the Gaza Strip. “Such measures reinforce the Palestinian division and target the unity and resistance of the Palestinians ahead of a plan to liquidate the Palestinian cause,” he said. “Forcing early retirement on people living under such harsh conditions is a crime against humanity.” National and legal steps should be taken to hold to account those responsible, added the Hamas official.
The PA in Ramallah has also reduced by a third the salaries of its employees in Gaza as from April. It also asked Israel to stop supplying Gaza with electricity and stopped medical treatment referrals for patients living in the besieged territory.
According to PA government spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud on Tuesday, these measures are “temporary” and are aimed at putting pressure on Hamas in order to dissolve the administrative committee in the Gaza Strip.