Gaza's public employees go on strike

Public sector employees in Gaza go on strike amid dispute between Hamas and Fatah over payments of salaries.

Elad Benari,

Gaza
Gaza
iStock

Public sector employees in Gaza went on strike Monday over unpaid salaries, amid a dispute between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and its longtime rival Fatah.

All government institutions closed their doors in the morning as the union of public employees called for a strike, the second in a month, reported AFP.

The union said the strike is necessary as staff have only received 40 percent of their salaries for five months.

Khalil Hamada, a spokesman for the union, said the strike was "part of protest activities that will continue until the government responds to the rights of the staff in full".

The two groups have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup. All attempts to reconcile the sides have failed.

The two warring factions 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”.

Under the October agreement the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority government was meant to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants employed by Hamas until a final solution could be found.

But they have failed to implement the agreement, with the two sides trading blame over responsibility.

In addition to the salaries, Hamas and Fatah are in disagreement over the future of Hamas's vast armed wing.

Fatah leader and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that the armed militias in Gaza disarm as part of the implementation of the agreement, but Hamas has categorically rejected this demand.




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