PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Flash 90

PM approves $12 million transfer to Gaza

Netanyahu's office says money will go to pay salaries of PA's employees in the Strip

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a transfer of NIS 50 million ($12.1 million) to the Gaza Strip Wednesday despite having voiced opposition to such transfers before he took office.


"The money is being transferred according to the Paris Accords, and doesn't go to Hamas. This is the minimum required," his office stated.


The funds, to be transferred immediately, are intended to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority workers in the Gaza Strip.


Israel will also transfer NIS 54 million ($13 million) of the UN's funds to employees of the UN's Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), many of whom are Palestinian.


Palestinian representatives have appealed for a figure four times as large in order to pay salaries, and Quartet envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair has asked that NIS 200 million ($48.2 million) be transferred.


The previous transfer authorized by Netanyahu amounted to NIS 100 million, but this drew considerable criticism from right-wing parties and so the prime minister halved the amount this round. 


"This is not Israeli money and the shekels are not going to Hamas," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said. "This is the Palestinian Authority's money and it will go to pay the salaries of its employees."


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.09, 00:40
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