PA security forces members to start getting wages

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will start paying long overdue salaries of the Palestinian security forces, a senior aide said Saturday, after three straight days of factional fighting in Gaza claimed 20 lives. Most of the security forces are loyal to Abbas. The aide, Rafiq Husseini, said Abbas will pay the salaries from a fund of $152 million, including $100 million in tax rebates recently transferred by Israel, $30 million from the United Arab Emirates and $22 million pledged by Qatar. Israel had frozen the tax rebates last year, after the Islamic militant Hamas took power. Husseini did not say how much of the money would go for the salaries of the security forces. Some of the money would also be spent on debt payment and welfare services, he said.