‘Settling scores’: Palestinians plan to replace 50,000 Hamas civil servants

Special to WorldTribune.com

GAZA CITY — The Palestinian Authority, in a move that sparked unrest, has begun replacing Hamas civil servants in the Gaza Strip.

Officials said the PA was rehiring civil servants who had worked in the Gaza Strip until the Hamas takeover in 2007.

Gaza civil servants line up at a bank's ATM machine.  /AP
Gaza civil servants line up at a bank’s ATM machine. /AP

The officials said the PA employees would take over from 50,000 Hamas civil servants who have not been paid by the new unity government in Ramallah.

“This was a politically-motivated decision,” Hamas spokesman Salah
Bardawil said.

The PA takeover has sparked rising unrest in the Gaza Strip. Unions have
threatened strikes and police were protecting against Hamas attacks on
banks, which refused to pay 70,000 outgoing government employees.

“They are settling scores with Hamas and the Gaza Strip with the backing of the Zionist occupier,” Bardawil, referring to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said.

Under the reconciliation accord between Fatah and Hamas, a panel was
meant to be established to discuss the civil service of the Gaza Strip. But
officials acknowledged that the committee never met.

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