Hundreds of public employees, appointed by Hamas since it took over the Gaza Strip government in 2007, took part Sunday in a strike demanding that the government “pay their salaries,” Ma’an reported Sunday. By “government,” of course, the news agency meant the Palestinian Authority over in Ramalla, Samaria, which has been holding back money from its own employees in the Gaza Strip, never mind Hamas loyalists.
The Hamas-affiliated Employees’ Union members held banners in the park of the Unknown Soldier’s Memorial in Gaza City, demanding that the government pay their salaries and asking the international community to pressure Israel to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip.
“We came to call on the international community and the Egyptian mediator to shoulder their responsibilities and pressure the occupation (that’s Israel o you and me) to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip,” said union chief Ya’qub al-Ghandour.
Ghandour called on the Palestinian Authority to also shoulder its responsibilities towards Gaza and to lift the “punitive” measures it imposes on the Gaza Strip.
He also called on the government to shoulder its full responsibility to the public sector employees in Gaza and “to pay their monthly salaries on a regular basis.”
Ghandour called on the rival terrorist factions in Gaza and the PA to also shoulder their responsibilities and pressure the government in the city of Ramallah to stop discrimination between its employees in Gaza and the PA.
PA salaries in the Gaza Strip employees since April 2017 have been subject to 30% to 50% deductions, combined with sending hundreds of older employees to unpaid early retirement—steps which so far have not been applied to PA employees.
Hamas inherited close to 40,000 workers after it seized control of Gaza in 2007.