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Palestinian Authority Accuses Hamas of Detaining Public Committee Members

Palestinian Authority Accuses Hamas of Detaining Public Committee Members

Wednesday, 9 October, 2019 - 09:45
A Palestinian man sells olives and pickles in the southern Gaza Strip (File photo: Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) accused Hamas of arresting members of a government committee in Gaza that was working to update employees' data.

Government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said Hamas arrested members of the committee, which consists of the Personnel Bureau, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Interior.

Melhem condemned the measure saying it was a disruption of the committee’s work aiming to resolve public servants’ issues, noting that four members of the Ministry of Finance's committee were detained.

The committee was established by the government two weeks ago, during a session chaired by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance Farid Ghannam to update employees’ data, according to Melhem.

The Ministry demanded that Hamas immediately release the detained staff.

It issued a statement stressing that the committee comes per the directives of the government and aims to remove discrepancies in the employees’ job files which were last updated four years ago.

The PA and Hamas disagree over civil servants in Gaza, with Hamas wanting to consider its employees part of the Authority's staff, which is rejected by the PA before a committee examines the job situation in the enclave.

Fatah movement condemned Hamas saying that the government is working to find quick and appropriate solutions that guarantee Gaza employees’ rights and ensure justice in the payment of salaries, said the head of the movement’s media office Monir al-Jaghoub.

Jaghoub stated that Hamas claims it is looking for those employees’ best interest, the movement is using them against the government and the leadership.

It is also using their issue to cover up its corruption and inability to manage Gazans’ affairs.

Palestinian People's Party also denounced Hamas for its actions against employees who were performing their duties.

The party considered this action as a disruption of the data update process, and contradicts the several parties’ calls for disbursing employees’ salaries fully, including those launched by Hamas.

The party stressed that the measure also contradicts its approval of the vision presented by the eight factions aimed at achieving national reconciliation. It urged Hamas to immediately release the detainees without further hindering their task.

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