In Gaza, half salary better than nothing (2)

14:39, July 07, 2011      

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Abdo and thousands of others were upset, confused and concerned over the current financial situation of the PNA. "In fact 2,000- shekel-salary wasn't enough at all to feed my wife, two children and my parents due to the high prices of goods, and I think half salary is a big crisis," he said.

Khaled Abu al-Qomsan, a Gaza-based expert in economic affairs, told Xinhua in an interview that monthly salaries of the employees in the Gaza Strip are the major financial liquidity that activates the trades and commercial movements in the strip.

"I believe that half salary would for sure negatively influence the market and the movements of purchase, trade and commerce, simply because the Gaza Strip market basically depends on the monthly salaries of the PNA employees," said Abu al-Qomsan.

According to Fayyad, the PNA has a deficiency of 535 million U. S. dollars, meanwhile, Israel had also threatened not to pay the monthly 100 million dollars tax revenue to the PNA. The PNA pays 150 million dollars as salaries to 148,000 civil and security employees in the Palestinian territories.

This deficiency goes back to the mid of last year after the donors, mainly Arab ones, hadn't fulfilled their financial pledges to the PNA, which has been basically relying on international and Arab donations since it had been established in 1993 to cover its running costs.

Om Abdallah, a Palestinian female teacher from Gaza, who declined to give her full name, told Xinhua that "receiving half salary is unpleasant news," adding "every breadwinner here has their own commitments of food, clothing and education."

"If signing the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas would bring us more suffering and more pain, we don't need it. I believe that the situation, with or without the reconciliation, is poor and difficult, therefore we want other people instead of Hamas and Fatah to rule us," she said.

On May 4, Hamas and Fatah signed in Cairo an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact. According to the pact, they agreed to form a one-year unity government that improves the economic situation and prepares for elections.

"I believe that the issue of the salaries is not related to a financial or economic background, it is certainly political, and basically the reconciliation agreement was the major reason due to the international and Israeli pressures on Abbas not to reconcile with Hamas," said Abu al-Qomsan.

Source: Xinhua

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