Palestinian factions and families on Thursday accused the PA of cutting salaries of hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
However, a Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah said the payments were being withheld due to a “technical fault,” but did not elaborate. The official denied that the delay was related to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s sanctions on Gaza.
A group representing families of Palestinian security prisoners and others who were killed by the IDF while carrying out attacks against Israel condemned the move as a “cowardly stab in the back of the Palestinian revolution.”
It said the PA has cut salaries to thousands of families in the Gaza Strip and said it would “not allow this crime to pass without a response.”
Another Gaza-based group, the Prisoners Committee, said the PA government in Ramallah has cut salaries of hundreds of families of “martyrs, prisoners and ex-prisoners, as well as employees working in various fields.”
The move, it said, is a “huge crime against the homeland and the Palestinian citizens.”
On Thursday, some Palestinian families staged a protest outside Abbas’s residence in Gaza City.
Daoud Shehab, spokesman for Islamic Jihad, said during the protest that the PA’s move was directed not only against its political rivals, but also against “the entire Palestinian people, their struggle and their cause of national liberation.” He and other protesters claimed that cutting the salaries of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was part of a “conspiracy” to force the residents of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave to surrender.
Sources in the Strip claimed that more than 1,700 Palestinians have been affected by the PA’s alleged move. The figure includes dozens of former PA and Fatah members, they said.
Sufyan Abu Zaidah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, said on Thursday that the PA has stopped paying him his monthly pension. He said he was planning to take legal measures against the PA for halting his pension. Abu Zaidah also appealed to Palestinian and international human rights organizations to intervene with the PA to rescind its punitive measures against the Gaza Strip.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the PA’s punitive measures as a “crime against humanity.”