PA civil servants union ends 135-day strike

The Palestinian civil servants' union announced Saturday that it is ending a 135-day strike it had launched to protest non-payment of salaries by the Hamas-led government. The union is dominated by Hamas' political rival, the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, and the strike was seen as part of the power struggle between the two sides. All civil servants will go back to work Sunday, the head of the union, Bassam Zakarneh, said at a joint news conference with Finance Minister Samer Abu Aisheh and Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Shaer, both of Hamas. The finance minister said full salaries will be paid, starting next month, and that the back wages will be paid in installments. It was not immediately clear how the government would come up with the money. Abu Aisheh said the government has more than $30 million (€23 million) in donations in an Arab League account and that Qatar has promised $22 million (€17 million).