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Hamas-affiliated lawmakers receive salaries from PA after 'technical error'

June 6, 2017 2:40 P.M. (Updated: June 6, 2017 2:43 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority (PA) has denied allegations that it cut salaries for 47 deputies of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc in the Palestinian parliament.

The political bloc said in a statement Monday on Hamas’ official website that the PA had cut the lawmakers’ salaries, condemning the move as a continuation of the PA’s policy against Hamas parliamentarians residing in the occupied West Bank since Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Local news outlet Palestine Now quoted head of the salaries department at the Palestinian Finance Ministry Abd al-Jabar Salim as saying that "salaries were not paid as a result of a technical error in the salary system." He said that the error was being dealt with and that salaries of the Hamas-affiliated lawmakers would be paid later on Monday.

Israeli news site Ynet later reported that Hamas lawmaker Ayman Daraghmeh confirmed the 47 parliamentarians had indeed received their salaries after being informed by the PA the delay came as technical error.

However, in Hamas’s initial statement, the faction also accused the PA of cutting the salaries of 270 former prisoners of Israel who have been deported to the besieged coastal enclave, and also denounced the PA for upholding a widely criticized decision to cut salaries for Gaza-based civil servants by 30 percent.

In response to the reported development, Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Rahman Shahid said the Hamas body responsible for overseeing prisoners would review all the suspended salaries, according to Israeli news outlet the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced to the Israeli parliament that would deduct 1 billion shekels ($273,847,120) from tax revenues transferred from Israel to the PA over the controversial “martyrs” compensation program that provides financial allowances to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel and their families.
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