PA gov't employees protest in Gaza

Thousands take to streets over salaries; five protesters wounded by grenade.

September 30, 2006 12:26
PA gov't employees protest in Gaza

palestinian protest 88. (photo credit: )

Thousands of government employees and security officials filled the streets of Gaza on Saturday, burning tires, blocking roads and firing in the air, to protest delays and complications in receiving their long-awaited salaries. The Palestinian government on Thursday began paying partial salaries to 165,000 civil servants who haven't received their full wages in months due to an economic embargo on the Palestinian Authority. The individual payments of US $350 come from money donated to the government by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But government employees complained that in some cases, the money hadn't arrived, and in others they were left with nothing after Palestinian banks had deducted commissions and interest and paid off existing loans. The protesters closed the main road between Gaza City and Khan Younis, affecting movement between Gaza City and the southern Gaza Strip. Outside Rafah City, protesters threw stones at the vehicle of Attalah Abu Sabh, Hamas' minister of culture, breaking the windows of the car. Abu Sabh was unharmed, Hamas officials said. The protesters also tried to enter a number of schools and disrupt studies, witnesses said. In Deir el-Balah, a grenade was thrown at protesters. Five people were wounded by shrapnel, Israel Radio reported.

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