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PM: Intl body to pay salaries of Gaza civil servants

Sept. 27, 2014 6:49 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 29, 2014 12:29 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Saturday that an unnamed international body is willing to pay the salaries of civil servants in Gaza who were employed by the former Hamas-run government in the Strip.

Speaking at a news conference at the office of the Nablus governorate, Hamdallah said the national consensus government could not afford to pay the wages of the thousands of civil servants formerly employed by Hamas.

But an international body has expressed willingness to pay the salaries, and employees will receive their August wages on Monday, Hamdallah said.

He did not provide further details.

Hamas and Fatah leaders met in Cairo on Wednesday and Thursday in order to iron out issues preventing the full implementation of a West Bank-Gaza unity government agreed upon in April.

The rival Palestinian factions said they reached a "comprehensive" agreement that would lead to the "return" of the unity government in the Strip, including a solution to the issue of paying former Hamas employees' salaries.

Since the new government was officially sworn in in June, Hamas has demanded it take responsibility for paying its 45,000 employees, 27,000 of whom are civil servants.

But the unity government has been noncommittal, and earlier this month Hamdallah said he was under pressure from the international community not to pay Hamas employees' salaries.
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