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As Strike Erupts in Gaza, Abbas Won’t Transfer Funds Until Hamas Negotiates Shared Control

gaza clean staff 1

Hamas’ official spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri has announced a meeting between his organization and Al Fatah (PLO), the power behind the Palestinian Authority in a few days.

Abu-Zuhri told a Palestinian TV channel: “There is a proposal for a meeting between Hamas and Fatah, but Fatah refuses to sit with Hamas in Gaza, it prefers that the meeting take place in Egypt.”

In response to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ charge that it was Hamas’ decision to start the last war, Abu-Zuhri said Hamas was blameless on this count.

He placed the blame for the war on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insisting that Hamas only defended the Palestinians. “Hamas is not connected to the starting of the war, ” he stated.

Hamas and the PLO have signed a reconciliation agreement in April, to establish a government of technocrats to rule the Gaza strip. But that was a long time ago. Since then there was a 50-day war, during which Abbas criticized Hamas, calling on it to accept Israeli demands to lay down its arms.

“We will not retain partnerships with Hamas unless it accepts one arm, one legitimacy and one decision in the Palestinian territories, ” Abbas said.

Essentially, it means Hamas will have to submit its weapons to the PA if it wants to retain the partnership. And if it doesn’t, then the funds that should go its way will stay in Ramallah, east of the Green Line.

Abu-Zuhri said that these demands are unjustified and unreasonable.

Reasonable or not, things in Gaza are getting worse following the cease-fire. On Wednesday, cleaning staff in Gaza entered the third day of a strike, protesting not being paid for five months, Ma’an reported.

Nabil Abu Aqlein, who represents al-Shifa hospital employees, said cleaning staff in all Gaza hospitals will continue strike action until they are paid.

“If cleaning staff quit working there will be a disaster and diseases will spread in all hospitals, ” Abu Aqlein added.

Around 170 workers are on partial strike, which could escalate to a full general strike if salaries are not paid.

President Abbas must intervene to resolve the crisis, Abu Aqlein added.

But Abbas will not intervene as long as there’s a chance his people will be treated with the brutality they faced in 2007, when Hamas drove the PLO out of the Gaza strip.

And the cleaning staff salaries are only the tip of the iceberg. Soon every facet of the Hamas run government will reach its payday, and the Hamas government has no money to offer.

And they can’t possibly blame the Jews for this one. Or can they?

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