JAFFA, Israel – Several hundred Palestinian Authority public servants in Gaza have reportedly yet to receive their monthly salary because they are suspected by President Mahmoud Abbas of being loyal to his main challenger within the Fatah movement, Mohammed Dahlan.
As Fatah is preparing to hold its seventh conference later this month, Abbas’ men have been doing their utmost to sideline Dahlan’s people, who will not be represented as delegates.
In the same vein, Ramallah has decided to suspend salary payments to up to 500 public servants and security officers in the Gaza Strip who, since Hamas’ takeover of the territory in 2007, have been prevented from doing their job but were paid nonetheless.
A senior Fatah official in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem that the employees who were penalized are accused of participating in a rally organized by Dahlan in which they called for reform and set Abbas’ picture ablaze.
Dr Zakariya Alagha, a top Fatah official in Gaza and close associate of Abbas, wrote on his Facebook page: “The suspension of salary payment is illegal, as well as inhumane. It’s an affront not only to the employee, but to his family as well. Arafat never suspended the salaries even of those who were suspected of spying for Israel so as not to hurt their families.”
Rami Abu Karsh told Breitbart Jerusalem on behalf of the penalized employees that the measure is nationally and morally deplorable.
“Disagreements within the movement should not be addressed by cutting people’s livelihood,” he said, adding that hundreds of families have been affected by the cuts in Gaza’s already miserable economic conditions.
In a statement, the affected employees said that the measure was “a massacre and a crime.”
They further said that “a leadership that opts for this measure lacks confidence and is in a state of panic and distrusts the public and its own associates. The perpetrators of this crime will soon be held to account for it. They will pay a price for harming the livelihood of the employees.”
They called on the international community to “reconsider its financial support to the Palestinian Authority whose leadership uses it to penalize those who disagree with its policy.”