Palestinian policemen protest in Gaza, demand wages

September 28, 2006 10:00 PM IMEMC & Agencies Miscellaneous, News Report, Palestine 0

Thursday, hundreds of Palestinian policemen and security forces
officers protested in the Gaza Strip and blocked all routes leading to
Gaza City with trash bins and burned tiers demanding their wages which
they did not receive in months.

The protesting police officers fired several rounds of live ammunition into the air, closed the roads with rocks and metal, and emptied the contents of trash bins into the streets.

Most of the policemen are members of the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces, affiliated with the Fateh movement and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. 

Efforts to establish a Palestinian National Unity Government remained stalled, as Fateh and Hamas movements exchanged accusations over the failure of the internal talks.

Since the Hamas party was elected to office, winning the majority of seats at the Legislative Council last January, several donor countries stopped their funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The United States and Israel led a campaign to Isolate the Hamas-led P.A, imposed siege on the P.A and its financial aid leaving dozens of thousands of government employees unpaid in month.    

The protesting policemen said that their protest is not politically motivated, and that it is not in support of one party against the other.

“The hunger of our children motivates us”, a protesting policeman said.

Another protester said that the unpaid employees do not care about the problems between the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas , and the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya. “We only care about the wellbeing of our children, our families”, he stated.

There are 165.000 government employees who only received partial salaries since march. The Acting Palestinian Finance Minister, Sameer Abu Aisha said in a press conference that Qatar paid US$65 million, and Saudi Arabia paid US$15 million which enabled the P.A to pay partial salaries.

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