GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza's Hamas government is unable to pay its 32,000 employees in full for the second straight month, an official said Sunday, signaling the Islamic militants are facing a cash crunch.
Deputy Finance Minister Ismail Mahfouz said the financial problems are temporary, blaming the blockade of Gaza's borders, enforced by Israel and Egypt since Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007.
"We are having difficulties in getting the money in (to Gaza) because of the siege, and this will not last long," Mahfouz said in comments posted on the website of Gaza's Finance Ministry. "The government has its own reserves, and it can make them available, but it needs a way of getting them."
Mahfouz confirmed Sunday that April salaries will not be paid in full. He said that all of the 32,000 civil servants and members of the security forces will get a minimum payment of $400, but that those who normally make more will receive partial payments. A midlevel civil servant earns about $700 a month, and a top earner makes about $1,100.