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PA to cancel ministers’ raise following uproar — UN envoy

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority government has pledged to suspend a secret increase in ministerial salaries, the United Nations envoy on the Israel-Palestinian conflict says Thursday after reports of the raise sparked anger.

Documents leaked online appeared to show that in 2017, PA President Mahmoud Abbas had quietly agreed to increase monthly salaries of ministers from $3,000 to $5,000, as well as boosting the prime minister’s salary from $4,000 to $6,000.

The revelation, by an anonymous online group known as “Against the Current,” came as the Palestinian government faces desperate financial shortfalls.

Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, says Thursday he had spoken to recently installed PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who had agreed to cancel the raises.

“At a time when the #Palestinian people are struggling with economic hardship, when salaries were cut in #Gaza, such decisions defy logic and rightly anger people,” Mladenov tweets in reaction to the news of the salary increase.

“I spoke to @DrShtayyeh who committed to end this practice immediately and investigate.”

Shtayyeh, who replaced predecessor Rami Hamdallah in April, is not immediately available for comment.

— AFP

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