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Friday, May 07, 2010

Hamas cash crisis: Salaries cut this month

Palestine Press Agency reports that Hamas has halved the salaries of many of its employees in an effort to stem its growing cash crisis.

According to the story, Hamas will continue to pay the salaries of those who make less than 1500 shekels a month, but it will halve the salaries of those earning more than 4000 shekels a month.

This is the second month in a row that Hamas has not been able to pay its workers their full salaries. Hamas pays some 32,000 workers.

Hamas is now being forced to admit, despite earlier denials, that there is a cash crisis in Gaza, mostly because of Egypt's (belated) crackdown on illegal money transfers.

The article states that Egypt has been specifically targeting tunnels that had been used for cash, weapons and people smuggling, but not prioritizing tunnels that bring goods into Gaza.

Egypt's crackdown is due to anger that Hamas refuses to sign an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation document with Fatah. That split has caused the Arab world to lose much of its interest in Palestinian Arab issues, even as the West increases pressure on the "peace process."