In a sign of progress in cooperation between the Hamas terrorist group and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Hamas civil servant workers in Gaza on Wednesday received payments via the new West Bank-based Palestinian unity government.
The payments were part of $30 million donation by Qatar, an ally of Hamas, to be distributed in the amount of $1,200 each to 24,000 civil servants, the New York Times reported. But excluded from receiving the payments is Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, is overseeing the payments.
Since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza from the PA, more than 70,000 PA employees in Gaza have continued to receive payments, despite not working, while 40,000 Hamas-affiliated workers who run day-to-day operations in Gaza have not been paid since last year.
Last spring, Hamas and its rival Fatah (which dominates the Palestinian Authority) signed an agreement to form a technocratic unity government under the control of Abbas. Attempting to work out compensation for both the PA and Hamas workers in Gaza is one of the unity government’s goals.