Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, at a rally in Gaza City, on May 24, 2021.
“Any agreement to transfer funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip will not take place without the consent of Hamas and we will not give up the payment of salaries to government officials in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian banks are nothing but a means and we will control the routing of funds, all in accordance with previous agreements and there is no change in them,” a member of the Hamas leadership told the TPS news agency Wednesday.

Sources in the Gaza Strip emphasized that Hamas does not agree to waive the payment of wages to its 27,000 civilian administration employees of the Gaza Strip.

One of the sources, close to the Hamas leadership, said that “although the agreement is not entirely clear, Hamas will not accept the cessation of payment for its people, who are civilian government officials.”

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Another source said that there was no doubt that the funds would be transferred to officials in the Gaza Strip and noted that the wording of the agreement between Qatar and the Palestinian Authority includes a clause dealing with the payment of salaries to officials.

TPS reported yesterday that the agreement signed between the PA and Qatar will allow the transfer of the allowance of $100 to each of the 100,000 poor families, using magnetic cards issued by banks subordinate to the Palestinian Authority.

A source in the PA, who is familiar with the wording of the agreement, confirmed that the funds intended for the 27,000 Hamas administration officials in the Gaza Strip will also be transferred through the Palestinian Authority banks, and from them to the officials, in another method and under Qatar’s responsibility.

Sources in Hamas recently said that they would agree to this if it was guaranteed that no commission would be deducted from the aid money for the families and that the list of names would include those that Hamas submitted to Qatar.

It now appears that each family will be required to pay a commission of $1.50 and the names will be transferred by Qatar to the Palestinian Authority. The assessment in the Gaza Strip is that Hamas accepted the new method with no choice, but is expected to insist on paying its officials.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.