Hamas-hired teachers in Gaza on strike over unpaid salaries

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-14 20:50:08|Editor: Chengcheng
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GAZA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Schools and government-run education institutions in the Palestinian Gaza Strip were closed Wednesday as employees hired by Hamas movement started a one-day strike to protest being unpaid by the Ramallah-based Consensus Government.

In a statement, the Teachers' Union in Gaza demanded that teachers should be paid equally to their colleagues hired by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

After routing forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, Hamas hired some 40,000 employees, mostly its loyalists, to help the Islamic party run the affairs of the Gaza Strip.

In the past five months, Hamas paid its workers who were employed after 2007 less than one third of their due salaries.

Hamas movement and Abbas' Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement sponsored by Egypt last October to end a decade-long internal split and move to allow the Consensus Government assume full control over Gaza.

However, internal disputes between both parties, including the issue of Hamas-hired employees, still impede the full implementation of the agreement.

The consensus government announced recently it would provide 20,000 of those employees with jobs as soon as the government takes over full control of the Israeli blockaded territory.

Meanwhile, Gaza Civil Servants Syndicate said in a statement that empowering the Consensus Government in Gaza can only happen when the Gaza government pays them equally as other government employees and integrates them in its ministries and institutions.

On Feb. 26, Hamas civil servants went on a one-day strike to protest "the disregard" of the consensus government to iron out their issue of being unpaid.

All government offices and schools in Gaza were shut down as a result of the strike, with only hospital emergency departments remained opened.