Israel gives go-ahead for Gaza money transfer

February 6th, 2009 - 5:45 am ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Feb 6 (DPA) For the first time since its recent military action against Gaza, Israel has given the go-ahead for a cash delivery into the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reports said Thursday.They said 175 million shekels (33 million euros) would be transferred from the West Bank to banks in the Gaza Strip in order to pay around 70,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The reports said Israeli acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had authorised the delivery against the opposition of Foreign Minister Zipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The latter had expressed fears the money would fall into the hands of the radical Islamist Hamas organisation which has ruled the Gaza Strip since winning an election there in June 2007, and which opposes Abbas.

The employees of the Palestinian Authority have been receiving their pay from the West Bank since the Hamas takeover, even if they have not been going to work.

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