Hamas in Gaza
Hamas in GazaAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, on Sunday spoke on the phone with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) and warned that, beginning April 1, the PA would stop paying salaries to its employees in Gaza.

The halting of payments to tens of thousands of Gaza workers could cause a humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

According to a report on Hadashot TV, Kahlon clarified to al-Sheikh that Israel would not agree that the internal war between the PA and Hamas would "explode on Israel," as he put it, and warned the PA against unilateral steps that might ignite Gaza.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas have been feuding with one another since 2007, when Hamas violently took over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup.

The two groups signed a reconciliation agreement in October, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1. That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and then appeared to have been cancelled altogether after it reportedly hit “obstacles”.

Relations between the sides have deteriorated further since a bomb attack targeting the convoy of PA cabinet leader Rami Hamdallah as he visited Gaza.

Abbas directly blamed Hamas for the bomb attack, saying that if the attack had succeeded it would have "opened the way for a bloody civil war."

He has also announced plans to sanction Hamas over the bombing. Hamas, which denies any connections to the attack, last week named a suspect whom it later said was killed in a raid.