Abbas: PA will not disarm Hamas, pays salaries to 60-70 thousand civil servants who aren't working
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was interviewed by the Egyptian Sada El-Balad TV channel:
Sada El-Balad TV host: “Mr. President, honestly, and tell me clearly in front of everyone – did Egypt, at any point, say ‘we’ll disarm or agree to disarm the Resistance?’”
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “It [Egypt] never said that. It was the US Secretary of State who once said that to me … He told me: ‘Disarm.’ I told him: ‘Yes, once I have one state, one law, one rifle and one government, then you ask me to disarm. Not now. Give me a state and then I’ll decide.’ Egypt didn’t demand this – Israel did… Since [Hamas’] coup against the PA (in 2007), and until today, we’ve been transferring more than 50% of our [PA] budget to Gaza, including [salaries] to 60-70,000 [PA] civil servants who aren’t working. They are [in the Gaza Strip] and are receiving salaries. We pay them because they stopped working, so Hamas came and appointed other people in their place."
The average monthly salary for a PA civil servant was 2,882 shekels ($795) as of 2011. [Life and the Market supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011] The 60,000 PA workers receive $47 million a month - not to work.