The Arab Bank closed two of its branches in Gaza City because it did not want to expose its employees to the anger and frustration of hundreds of employees of the Palestinian Authority (PA) who have not been able to be paid because the bank has refused to handle the PA’s account.  Other banks agreed to pay low-earning Palestinian Authority employees their salaries on credit, with the hope that the Palestinian Authority will soon be able to reimburse them.

The Palestinian Authority currently has no money to pay its employees due to the international economic blockade and siege on the Palestinian Government.  The siege followed democratic elections in Palestine in January in which the Palestinian people elected the Hamas party to power.

The bank’s employees closed the branches after there was an angry exchange of insults with account holders who were furious that their colleagues had been able to receive their salaries from other banks.

Local Palestinians expressed anger that the Arab Bank is acting in complicity with the international economic blockade on their democratically-elected government.  Yesterday, four military wings threatened that they will "deal with the banks as they deal with those who impose a blockade and siege of the Palestinian people." The statement also demanded that the banks should prove their commitment to the national struggle by working in the interests of the Palestinian people, as this was the reason for them to have opened branches in Palestine in the first place.

*this article was sourced from Ma’an News and local sources