The Associated Press
December 10, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel has approved a money transfer to impoverished Gaza to ease the cash crunch there.

Israel has not allowed money to enter Gaza since October, causing cash shortages in local banks. Its refusal to let Palestinian banks send money to their Gaza branches is a part of a larger blockade imposed on the territory in response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.

Israeli officials say Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed on Wednesday to transfer 100 million shekels ($25 million) to Gaza from banks in the West Bank. The transfer is expected to take place in the next few days.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Palestinian officials say Gaza's banks have only one-fifth of what they need to pay civil service wages.


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