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Disputes Arise Prior to Government Assuming Authorities in Gaza | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Government’s session head by President Mahmoud Abbas (Getty Images)

Ramallah- The issue of Hamas employees resurfaced to block the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, especially after the Finance Minister announced that the employees can’t be included within the government.

Hamas warned Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah of failing once again.

Mousa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, sent a direct message to Hamdallah saying that unity is a priority.

Marzouk’s message came a few hours after Minister of Finance Shukri Bshara said that the authority was not concerned with the inflation and didn’t have the capacity to include 40,000 or 50,000 new employees, meaning Hamas’ government employees.

Shukri told the state TV that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and government are suffering from a financial crisis and the debt exceeded $3 billion. He added that it is currently difficult to include 40,000 employees explaining that this needs years of study.

The minister suggested establishing a special fund for Gaza’s employees not linked with the authority’s budget.

Bishara’s statement could indicate that the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah will fail.

Hamas wants to include 43,000 military and civil employees within the government, however, Fatah refused this, claiming that it can’t encompass all the employees immediately.

PM Hamdallah suggested earlier that employees return to their jobs until vacancies had been accounted for in all ministries with a priority to hire Hamas’ employees. However, the movement refused this suggestion.

Hamas announced dissolving the administrative committee ruling Gaza and asked the government to be in charge, but the government didn’t set a date for that.

Palestinian leadership met on Sunday and said they would ask Egyptian authorities to oversee the government assuming its duties, according to sources.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, the sources stated that everything will be determined according to the development of matters.

Hamas wasn’t thrilled about this and issued a statement on Sunday criticized President Mahmoud Abbas for not canceling punitive measures against the group including budget cuts for essential services in Gaza.

The statement stressed that PA President needs to make positive and responsible decisions to end all the measures.

“There is no longer any justification for stalling or procrastination,” added the statement.

The movement then issued another statement saying that a week after Hamas announced the dissolution of its governing body in Gaza Strip, the government didn’t lift the measures against the movement.

Hamas’ spokesperson Abdul Latif al-Kanou’ said that currently nothing prevents the government from honoring its duties in Gaza especially after the administrative committee had been dissolved.