Hamas crippled by failure to pay workers

From the Washington Times

RAMALLAH, West Bank — At a time when Hezbollah has enjoyed a surge in popularity throughout the Arab world from the monthlong war with Israel, the Hamas-led government is losing support over its inability to pay salaries of government employees.

A strike by disgruntled government workers kept Palestinian public schools, government offices and public hospitals closed yesterday for the third consecutive day. “We just want to feed our families,” said Jihad Abu Zneid, a legislator from the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “We need early elections.”

A Western-aid embargo prompted by Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel has left more than 150,000 Palestinian government workers without regular paychecks for the past six months.

Holding early elections may be helpful in getting someone on the Palestinian side that can be a partner in the peace process. Hopefully the voters in Gaza and the West Bank realize that decisions made at the ballot box do hold consequences… If they choose to vote for leaders that advocate continued violence with Israel, and insist on pursuing a path of terror… then they must accept the consequences of that vote…  

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