Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced on Saturday that Hamas’s civilian employees might receive their salaries from a third international party.
Hamdallah did not name the party that is expected to pay the Hamas employees on a temporary basis. However, he said that the salaries would not be paid through his government.
Hamdallah told reporters during a visit to Nablus that Hamas has 54,000 employees in Gaza. “The government does not have money to pay them their salaries,” he said.
“We are facing a deficit in our budget, which will reach $600 million by the end of this year.”
Hamdallah’s announcement means that members of Hamas’s security forces and armed group would not receive salaries for now. It’s not known how many of Hamas’s employees are civilians.
PA civil servants in Gaza would receive their salaries on Monday, he said. The PA has almost 70,000 civil servants who have not been working since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007 – a fact that has not stopped the PA from paying them full salaries.
The PA leader also expressed hope that the agreement reached in Cairo last week between Fatah and Hamas would enable his government to assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip.
The details of the agreement were still unavailable, he said, although some Palestinian media outlets published the accord last Friday. “We are waiting for the Palestinian delegation to return from Cairo to hear the details of the agreement,” Hamdallah said.
Following two days of discussions under the auspices of the Egyptian authorities, the two parties said they agreed to enable Hamdallah’s government to carry out its duties in the Gaza Strip, including managing all the border crossings with Israel and Egypt.