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Hamas says deal reached with Qatar to resume payments to Gaza public employees

Security forces loyal to Hamas organize a line outside the central post office in Gaza City, on January 26, 2019, as Palestinians gather to receive financial aid from Qatar. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Security forces loyal to Hamas organize a line outside the central post office in Gaza City, on January 26, 2019, as Palestinians gather to receive financial aid from Qatar. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

A Hamas official says it has reached an agreement by which Qatar will resume subsidizing the salaries of public employees by sending fuel to the Gaza Strip.

Qatar was contributing to the salaries of some 50,000 employees of the Hamas-run government up until the 11-day war in May by sending suitcases of cash into the territory through Israel. Israel’s new government, which was sworn in the following month, vowed to stop that arrangement.

Under the deal reached with Qatar and Egypt, the wealthy Gulf nation will send fuel to Gaza from Egypt that Hamas can resell in order to help cover payrolls, the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivities around the agreement. There is no immediate comment from Qatar.

Hamas civil servants have received irregular payments in lieu of full salaries for years due to a prolonged financial crisis. Even with the Qatari aid, most public workers only receive 55 percent of their paycheck at best.

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