The European Union and the Palestinian Finance Mnister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, agreed that the EU would start coordinated and regular payments of salaries to the Palestinian government employees at the same time each month in order to avoid further delays in paying these salaries.According to Palestinian sources, the payments are expected to begin arriving in the coming few days.
The Palestinian government has been unable to pay salaries for its employees due to the year-old embargo imposed on the Palestinian government since Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections
Last March, Hamas and Fateh party formed a coalition government along with smaller factions in an effort to ease the restrictions, but so far, the US-Israeli led embargo remained in place.
Meanwhile, the European Union stated last week that its financial aid to the Palestinians would continue to bypass the government, and would be transferred through president Mahmoud Abbas, until the government meets the conditions of the Quartet; renounce violence, recognize Israel and accepts the previously signed peace deals.
The official position of Hamas is offering Israel an extended truce of the Israeli army stops its attacks, settlement expansion and the ongoing assassinations and abductions. Hamas stated that it cannot recognize a country which still occupied the Palestinian lands, and oppresses the people.
The Palestinian Workers Union threatened that it would hold an open-ended strike, similar to the extended strike it held last year, if the government does not pay the salaries of the employees, and demanded that all employees should be paid their full wages and the late salaries.
The EU will start this week transferring allowances to all eligible employees and pensioners, the amount which would be paid for each employee is approximately $370, and will coincide with separate payment by the Finance Minister, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported.
These payments are part of the EU-led Temporary Mechanism to pay salaries for government employees.
Also, a senior EU official stated on Thursday that this mechanism paid so far $28.57 million, which is nearly a quarter of the Palestinian Authority’s monthly wage of $115 million.
Palestinian governmental employees have gone without full salaries since March 2006, they received some payments through the office of the Palestinian president, but these payments were not periodic, and were insufficient.
On Thursday, several EU parliamentarians urged the EU to end the embargo on the Palestinians, and said that the agenda of the Palestinian Unity Government meets the international demands.