Waiting to be paid (archive)
Photo: AFP

Hamas fails to pay employees' salaries

Clerks, security forces say pay delayed due to problem in smuggling funds to Gaza Strip

Egyptian border control influencing Hamas' cash flow? Clerks in the Gaza Strip on the Hamas payroll are complaining that they have not been paid for month of January, even though nine days have passed since the payment deadline, the London-based Al-sharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.


According to the report, the clerks fear that they will not receive their salary because Hamas is encountering problems in smuggling funds through the tunnels between Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Sources described as well-informed confirmed that the Hamas government has a cash flow problem.


Furthermore, Palestinian sources said that the Islamist movement is issuing salaries in a number of rounds, the first of which is for employees earning under $300. The payment for the other workers has been put on hold for the time being.


A senior element in the Hamas finance ministry in Gaza said that the reason for the salary delay is a problem with technical procedures. He confirmed that the clerks were divided to a number of groups according to their salary level, and said he hoped the ministry would be able to pay the employees by the end of the month.


The report further stated that the Hamas government needs $16 million each month in order to pay the salaries of 34,000 employees and military branch members. In the beginning of the year the government approved a $540 million budget, $30 million of which were earmarked to "support Jerusalem." 


Hamas has encountered budget difficulties after several banks refused to do business with the organization.


Those who receive their salaries from the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah were already paid.


Nevertheless, these employees were instructed to stay home so as not to imply legitimization of Hamas' rule in Gaza. According to the report, the PA allocates 58% of its budget for the Strip, including payment of gas, electricity and water bills purchased from Israel.


The report also noted that Hamas' funding sources are mostly external ones, such as Iran – its largest funder, the Muslim Brotherhood, large religious institutes, businessmen and foundations.


פרסום ראשון: 02.09.10, 16:21
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