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Gaza Reconstruction Delayed as Fatah, Hamas Continue to Squabble

Gaza reconstruction has once again been put on hold has the Palestinian Authority (PA) is unwilling to release funds for that purpose until it has full control of Gaza The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Following a rare government meeting in Gaza Tuesday, the government of Rami Hamdallah said Wednesday that PA civil servants who had left their positions as a result of Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 must be allowed to resume their posts, a move that would effectively put Hamas appointees out of business. …

The government indicated that it would not be able to push forward Gaza’s reconstruction without full presence in the Strip’s border crossings, hinting that international funding had stalled due to Hamas’s insistence on remaining there.

Hamas declared that by insisting that PA civil servants should be reinstated at the expense of Hamas employees was a violation of Hamdallah’s promise of “job security to all civil servants without exception.”

The ongoing infighting over money between the PA and Hamas has been going on for months. Hamas, in September, robbed a bank in Gaza to get its hands on funds. Hamas has refused to surrender its control of border crossings to the PA and each side is blaming the other for the lack of progress on reconstruction.

In late December, Neri Zilber of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy reported that one PA official complained, “How do you expect me to go work in the Gaza Strip, when the Qassam Brigades [Hamas’s elite paramilitary group] goes ahead of me in both power and weapons?” Zilber also noted “that Israel, of all the parties involved, has shown the greatest degree of flexibility towards a Gaza Strip.”

[Photo: Reuters / YouTube ]