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Hamas official: Arab Bank rejected money transfer from Qatar

June 29, 2014 11:24 A.M. (Updated: June 29, 2014 6:42 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Deputy chief of the Hamas politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq said Saturday that Qatar attempted to transfer money to cover the monthly salaries of the civil servants of the former Hamas-run government in Gaza, but the Arab Bank rejected the transfer.

"The state of Qatar graciously transferred money to the Arab Bank, but with an extravagant sense of Arab nationalism, the Arab Bank refused to take the money," Abu Marzouq wrote sarcastically on his Facebook page.

He added that PA president and the national consensus government "are still looking for a mechanism," to transfer the funds, which Qatar agreed to send in order ensure that thousands of civil servants who served under the Hamas government will continue to be paid despite a unity agreement that means previous civil servants from the PA government will be employed.

The Qatari decision averted a crisis in early June, as the possibility that thousands of employees affiliated with the Hamas-run government that controlled the besieged coastal enclave since 2007 would be summarily dismissed led to protests and anger.

Abu Marzouq said in his statement that some Palestinians insist on "receiving orders from outside," alluding to the possibility that the Arab Bank's refusal to transfer the funds was politically-motivated.

"It is unconscionable to deprive employees who are doing their work of their wages," added Abu Marzouq. "Unity will not be built on tyranny or discrimination."

Since the political division between Hamas and Fatah began in 2007, Hamas ran a separate government in the Gaza Strip with its own civil service.

During this time, however, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority had continued paying its employees in the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that the PA was no longer operative.

As a result, confusion arose as to whether the employees associated with the Hamas government would be paid by the unity government.
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