Haniyeh sends salary back to Ramallah government

Haniyeh accuses the PA leadership of 'blackmailing' the Palestinians.

haniyeh finger up 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
haniyeh finger up 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday returned a salary payment he received from the rival, Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority government of Salaam Fayad, accusing the PA leadership in Ramallah of "blackmailing" the Palestinians. Haniyeh is entitled to a salary in his capacity as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Last week the Fayad government announced that all the legislators would receive their salaries, including those belonging to Hamas's Reform and Change List. The decision to pay the salaries was taken after Israel released hundreds of millions of shekels of tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA. A PLC member makes from $2,500 to $3,500 a month. Sources in Haniyeh's office said he returned his salary to the Fatah-controlled Finance Ministry in Ramallah to "protest against the policy of discrimination against civil servants." Fayad's government decided last month to stop paying the salaries of more than 20,000 civil servants because of their links with Hamas. The move drew sharp criticism from Hamas, which accused Fayad of exploiting the financial crisis to punish Hamas supporters. "Fayad's government is pursuing a dangerous policy of discrimination that is aimed at humiliating our civil servants and their families and denying them their income," the sources in Haniyeh's office said. "Those who laid their hands on the public funds in Ramallah are continuing to tamper with the livelihood of the citizens in order to blackmail them."