Protests in Gaza over unpaid wages

Members of the security services loyal to the Palestinian president have blocked the main road into Gaza city to protest the non-payment of salaries.

    Thousands of Palestinians have not been paid since March

    Members of the presidential Force 17 also erected barricades and set tyres ablaze on arteries in eastern Gaza City, witnesses said on Saturday.

    "We will block all the streets of the Gaza Strip," one protester said.

    The Palestinian territories have been hit in recent weeks by violent clashes between fighters loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and those loyal to the ruling Hamas party.

    The fighting has claimed the lives of eight people and wounded more than 100.

    On Friday, gunmen opened fire near the convoy of Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, causing no injuries.

    Around 160,000 Palestinian Authority employees have not received their full salaries since the European Union and United States froze direct aid when the Hamas party took office in March, citing its refusal to recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by previous peace deals agreements.

    Most civil servants have been on an open-ended protest strike since September 2.

    SOURCE: AFP


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