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PA employees to continue strike

Dec. 23, 2012 6:17 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 25, 2012 2:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority employees will strike on Thursday after receiving only part of their November salaries, their union said Sunday.

Public sector staff were paid between 1,500 and 4,000 shekels ($400 - $1070) on Sunday as partial payment of November wages.

Head of the union Bassam Zakarneh said government employees were paid only a quarter of the money owed to them and some could not afford food or transport. The PA has not set a date to pay the remainder of November salaries or wages for December, he noted.

The union's council has discussed the financial situation with ministry representatives, Zakarneh said, adding that the crisis is political.

Israel is withholding around $100 million in Palestinian tax revenue it collects on behalf of the PA as punishment for the UN's acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state.

The strike Thursday is to protest Israeli "piracy" and to call on the PA to resolve the crisis and pay full salaries.

The PA was suffering a deep financial crisis even before Israeli sanctions, and has had to delay payments to its 153,000 public sector workers several times this year.

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