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PA to use international funding to pay salaries of Hamas military

     ‎“A senior Palestinian official, who ‎requested to remain anonymous, said the ‎government ‘fears the outbreak of a new ‎crisis when the salaries will be paid, and ‎many employees in Gaza may not receive ‎their salaries.’‎
Hamas is demanding that approximately ‎‎42,000 employees it has employed in ‎various Palestinian institutions since its ‎takeover of the Gaza Strip [in 2007] be ‎added to the official PA payroll. According ‎to Palestinian sources, approximately ‎‎20,000 of them work in the military ‎sector.
Yet the Palestinian official said the ‎government was contending with the ‎problem of raising the funds necessary [to ‎pay] such a large number of employees, in ‎addition to fears that ‘paying Hamas ‎employees would be detrimental to the PA ‎treasury.’ The official added that ‘the world ‎defines Hamas as a ‘terrorist’ ‎‎[organization], and the government ‎wishes to [secure] guarantees that would ‎enable the PA to pay these salaries.’‎
‎[PA] Government spokesman Ehab ‎Bessaiso did not conceal [the fact] that ‎there is a problem regarding the issue of ‎the employees in Gaza. He said: ‘The ‎solution to the problem depends on ‎international guarantees that will be given ‎to facilitate the raising of the funds, as ‎well as on guarantees that will protect the ‎PA Finance [Ministry] from external ‎accusations regarding international law.’ ‎Bessaiso said: ‘Thus far, all we have ‎received are media donations (i.e., ‎promises of donations via the media), and ‎the government is suffering from ‎asphyxiating financial distress, in addition ‎to the legal difficulty regarding the Hamas ‎employees.’ He added: ‘Nonetheless, we ‎are trying to transfer payments to these ‎workers, who number approximately ‎‎42,000.’ According to Bessaiso, the sum ‎total of the PA monthly salaries amounts ‎to approximately 700 million shekels (200 ‎million dollars) [parenthesis in source], of ‎which approximately 400 million shekels ‎‎(120 million dollars) [parenthesis in ‎source] come from taxes collected by ‎Israel for the PA. Of that sum, 200 million ‎shekels (about 57 million dollars) ‎‎[parenthesis in source] are collected ‎internally, while another approximately 35 ‎million dollars come from donations from ‎abroad.‎
The total number of official employees in ‎PA institutions is approximately 177,000, ‎of which about 70,000 work in the Gaza ‎Strip. The Palestinian official, who ‎requested to remain anonymous, said the ‎sum total of the salaries of the employees ‎Hamas had demanded be added [to the ‎PA’s payroll] was between 30 to 40 million ‎dollars. Qatar had expressed readiness to ‎pay 25 million of that sum for a period of ‎six months, but there was no guarantee ‎the salaries would continue to be ‎financed.”‎

From Agence France-Presse
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