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Beyond the crisis of salaries
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
April 18, 2017

The Palestinian Prime minister, Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah, ignored all his statements about the discounts of Gaza's employees' salaries and their justifications, when he explained that the salaries will return, when Hamas responds to the initiative of President Abbas.

Thus, one of the causes of the discounts is to create a situation of putting pressure on Hamas to make it responds to the demand of dissolving the administrative committee that is set up by the movement to manage the strip, allow the employees to return, hand over crossings and ministries and enable the government to work.

While emphasizing that Hamas retreating from its recent actions in Gaza is a national demand, the government made a big mistake when it used the salaries of the tens of thousands of employees to put pressure on Hamas.

The government has created a legitimate opportunity for many to wonder whether the pay cut is a part of the implementation of US envoy Greenblatt's terms to "qualify" the PA and the Palestinian situation on the threshold of launching the mechanism of implementing of the Trump's Regional Deal, one of these terms is to stop pumping money into the Gaza Strip.

When the PA government said that it was forced to make the step of pay cut because of lack of funding, it was easy to counter that by saying that any austerity policy should affect everyone even the senior officials in both the Palestinian Bank and Gaza. The response was correct because limiting the pay cut in the Gaza Strip under the pretext of non-attendance of the targeted employees is illogical, as they are victims of a complex situation created by the division and its continuation.

Therefore, many Gaza employees and members of Fatah as a party of PA facing the actions of the government of Al-Hamdallah, so they have become between the fires of impoverishment and the indignation of all employees and their families. It was normal for the movement's leadership in the strip to seek to ease the crisis through their calls and demands to cancel the procedures, with their realizing the reasons behind of issuing the decision of pay cut and its timing.

So far, all the reactions have been directed mainly against the government and the leadership of the PA, which has not been able to follow up the decision's reactions and direct them to the path that serves the pressure on Hamas, after members of Fatah's Central Committee called for an urgent meeting for the committee and made public statements against the decision. Therefore, the delegation of movement that will come to Gaza to discuss with Hamas, will find itself in the face of multi-directional interactions.

Hamas, in turn, is aware that the discounts will create additional difficulties for the movement in managing the affairs of the strip and that what has been proven. Hamas has recently sought to take measures that it considered as a try to put pressure on Ramallah by forming its own committee to manage the strip, depending on its recent good relations with Cairo. In addition, it has been active in trying to devise parallel regulatory frameworks to PLO institutions. The Istanbul Conference for Palestinians of Diaspora may create a form of that activity and It is a clear attempt to show itself in a rival to the Fatah movement and to show itself as a movement whose influence goes beyond the borders of the Gaza Strip, which it controls directly. It was also a try of creating new circumstances, then negotiating to abandon them in return for achieving what it could not in the previous period.

Between the two opposing pressures exerted by Fatah and Hamas movements towards each other, the interests of Palestinians are severely affected politically and economically. This will get worse with every orientation towards a deal between the two sides, because it is governed by a circumstantial condition rather than a response to the supreme national interest, and implementing the decisions of the comprehensive dialogues in connection with restoring unity and putting an end to the division.

Before the establishment of the intentional fabricated salaries' crisis, it was stressed on the need to adopt new social economic policies, to direct and guiding the expenditure, and take decisive actions to stop waste and fight administrative and financial corruption and prosecute its perpetrators, and to direct the economic activity to serve the steadfastness of the Palestinian society in the face of unfair Israeli actions and the continuation of Tel Aviv in controlling the Palestinian economy and its activity.

The "salaries crisis" has revealed that the PA with its fiscal and administrative policies in the opposite direction, and is still continuing to create crises instead of opening up to the overall Palestinian situation to find solutions to the all accumulated and worsening crises.

What increases the anxiety about this policy is the new US administration's involvement the settlement line through consensuses with the Netanyahu government toward the settlement process through the regional "deal" and the American envoy Greenblatt's demands for the "qualification" of the PA and the Palestinian situation in order to harmonize with the requirements of this deal.

It is clear that both Washington and Tel Aviv consider the continuation of the Palestinian division as a typical climate in order to be able to put the Palestinian negotiator in the place they want, and work to weaken it more and more by pushing it to confrontations with the components of the Palestinian situation and not only the measures towards Gaza and the direct demand of refusing to transfer funds to the strip.

If the Palestinian negotiator is dragged in this direction, he will find himself immersed in the repercussions of new national crises that further marginalize the Palestinian cause and give priority to the regional interests by seeking solutions to the crises in the region.

Needless to say, the way to overcome these catastrophic possibilities begins with restoring unity from the national perspective that worth. The issue cannot afford to maneuver on the interests of people and their livelihood, and cannot tolerate the exaggeration in the policies of factions and regional and international bets, the issue is connected to the two parties of division.

The decisions of the national consensus are clear. Starting with the decisions of the comprehensive national dialogues in connection with putting an end to the division, rebuilding the Palestinian political system on democratic basis, also the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council in its last session, especially with regard to rectifying the official relationship with the occupation and ending security coordination with it, beside establishing the political process on the basis of resolutions of international legitimacy, Particularly resolution number 194 which guarantees the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes where they have been displaced from.

Without this (Washington- Tel Aviv) agreements will find their way to be implemented on the ground and the support to the issues of the region will continue at the expense of the legitimate rights of Palestinian people.

All these are up to the Palestinian situation, and in the forefront, are the both parties of division.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Hasan Barazi
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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