Qatar coordinated payment to Hamas employees with Israel, PA

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamd al-Thani will pay $31,030,752 for the July salaries of Gaza’s public sector employees.

July 24, 2016 12:30
2 minute read.
Gaza Strip

Palestinians Hamas supporters take part in a rally ahead of the 27th anniversary of the movement founding, in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Qatar coordinated its decision to pay the July salaries of Hamas public sector employees with both the Palestinian Authority and Israel, according to a source speaking to the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds.

“The Qatari emir and foreign minister discussed this issue with President Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting in Doha during Ramadan and President Abbas did not express any opposition, especially since the transfer will take place in an official manner via the Palestinian Authority,” the source said.

The source added that Doha coordinated the decision with the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

“Qatar informed Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordecai and after Israel studied the proposal, it offered its approval,” the source revealed.

As for how the transfer of funds will take place, the source said that a European party will assume responsibility for their delivery from Qatar to Gaza.

Khalil Shaheen, the director of research at the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies, told The Jerusalem Post that Israel allowed the transfer because it wants to maintain quiet on its southern frontier. “Israel knows that it has to lighten pressure on Gaza in order to prevent another explosion. Thus, it responded in the affirmative to the Qatari request to transfer of funds,” he said.

Shaheen added that the transfer of funds follows other easing measures Israel has undertaken. “Israel has recently allowed increased movement through the Erez crossing, Turkish ships to deliver humanitarian aid, and more goods to cross into Gaza.”

Moreover, Shimrit Meir, the editor of Al-Masdar, told the Post that Abbas allowed the transfer of funds because he had no choice.

“Abbas has already been branded as abandoning Gaza. If he had turned down the Qatari request, he would have only reinforced that image,” she said.

Hamas has struggled to compensate its employees since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi from the Egyptian presidency, paying most of its employees 45 percent of their monthly salaries.

The last time the Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed to allow for Qatar to pay Hamas’s salaries was October 2014.

In the past two years, Hamas has demanded in reconciliation talks that the Palestinian Authority incorporate its 43,000 employees into the PA payroll. The PA has said it would consider incorporating some of Hamas’s civil workers on the basis of merit, but has refused to absorb all of Hamas’s employees.

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