Hamas unable to pay salaries in Gaza after Qatari support delay, officers say By Reuters



© Reuters. A basic view of Gaza Metropolis, July 16, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem


By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) – The Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers have been unable to pay salaries for 50,000 public sector employees, with officers partly blaming a delay in a month-to-month payroll grant from Qatar, a vital support donor to the impoverished Palestinian enclave.

The wage disaster has sparked an uncommon quantity of criticism on social media in Gaza, together with by a few of Hamas’ personal staff. A drop in tax income and a soar in spending has made the scenario much more tough.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents reside in poverty, and the financial system depends on overseas support. Qatar has paid tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} since 2014 for building tasks. It at the moment pays $30 million monthly in stipends for households, gasoline for electrical energy, and to assist pay public sector wages.

Hamas officers say no wage support has been acquired since simply over half of a $5-million grant to help the Could payroll. The explanation for the delay was not clear.

In Doha, Qatar’s Worldwide Media Workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

“The federal government goes by means of a stifling and escalating monetary disaster, with a steady enhance within the deficit month after month, which led to the delay of salaries this month,” Awni Al-Basha, the Hamas-appointed deputy minister, instructed Hamas Aqsa radio.

“We’re making important efforts to pay the salaries, and we hope to take action on the finish of this week,” he mentioned.

Month-to-month payroll prices Hamas 125 million shekels ($34.5 million) monthly, mentioned Basha.

On Sunday, Salama Marouf, chairman of the Hamas authorities media workplace, mentioned there has additionally been a rise in spending, notably for the ministry of well being and compensation of financial institution money owed. He known as on Qatar to extend the wage grant to $7 million.

Gaza has been beneath an Israel-Egyptian blockade since 2007 when Hamas, which opposes peace with Israel, took management. Public sector staff haven’t acquired full salaries since 2013.

“With 60% (of salaries) we used to satisfy the fundamentals of our wants at dwelling. What occurs when the wage is totally minimize off?” mentioned Mahmoud Al-Farra, an worker on the Hamas authorities media workplace. “This a giant disappointment.”

Some took to social media, questioning whether or not the disaster was genuine.

“The place are the taxes they accumulate and the grants that enter Gaza go?” one resident posted on Fb (NASDAQ:).


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