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Gaza banks closed after gunmen open fire at branch, ATMs

July 7, 2014 1:08 P.M. (Updated: July 8, 2014 3:59 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Gaza banks were closed on Monday after unidentified gunmen opened fire at a Bank of Palestine branch in Gaza City and at nearby ATMs belonging to the bank, a statement said.

The Bank of Palestine said that gunmen opened fire at the Omar al-Mukhtar branch of the bank in addition to ATMs that belong to the al-Nasser branch, causing extensive damage.

The bank called on political parties to protect financial institutions in Gaza, "especially under the difficult conditions the Strip is experiencing lately."

A Ma'an reporter said Palestinian Authority employees had lined up in front of the ATMs to cash their paychecks when they found that banks had closed.

They employees called on officials to intervene and re-open banks.

The attacks came amid a financial crisis in Gaza after the Hamas movement ceded power to the newly-formed national consensus government.

Employees of the previous government see it as Ramallah's responsibility to pay their salaries, but the new unity government says no such agreement was ever made with Hamas.

A Palestinian national consensus government was sworn in on June 2, as Hamas ceded power after nearly seven years of ruling Gaza.

Many issues involving the Strip, such as the fate of former employees of the Hamas government, have yet to be addressed by the new government.
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