Ma'an News Agency
May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Civil Servants' union said the Palestinian Authority would pay government employees' salaries on Monday, following confirmation that Israel would resume transfers of Palestinian tax revenues

A PA government spokesman, however, said he could not confirm the announcement, adding that the salaries would be paid when Israel transferred the cash.

Israel said it "got confirmation from the Palestinians that no [tax revenue] money will be transferred to Hamas or to terrorist operations," allowing the country's finance ministry to resume cash transfers, reports said Sunday night.

The EU, UN and US to had called on the finance ministry to rescind its decision to freeze the transfer of cash collected from Palestinians on goods entering the West Bank and Gaza.

Following international pressure, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said some 300 million shekels ($86 million) would be transferred within the week.

Head of the Palestinian Union of Civil Servants Bassam Zakarna told Ma'an he had been informed by the PA Ministry of Finance that cash had been transferred into employees' accounts on Monday afternoon.

However, government spokesman Ghassan Al-Khatib refused to set a date for when the salaries would be available.

"Israel promised to deliver tax revenues as soon as possible, and the government will pay salaries once revenues are transferred," he said.

Israel's finance minister had said that he would not transfer the funds on May 1, several days before Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo.

Palestinian factions agreed to establish a transitional government of technocrats to prepare for national elections. PA officials say the new government will be announced within days.

The US and EU have said they will study the new government and unity deal to decide how to proceed with support for the Palestinian Authority.

Israel's decision to withhold tax revenues put the PA in financial turmoil. The government was unable to pay salaries to 170,000 civil servants.


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