Hamas gets funds from Qatar to pay civil servants’ salaries

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza’s Hamas rulers say they have received $15 million from Qatar to help pay the salaries of civil servants.

Employees reporting to the Islamic militant group lined up outside local banks Friday to receive 60 percent of their long-overdue salaries.

A Qatari envoy brought in the money through Israel Thursday. Hamas says the monthly payments will gradually increase.

The funds are vital to Hamas, which has been squeezed under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007 and recent sanctions by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

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The payment is part of indirect Hamas-Israel understandings to improve living conditions for Gaza’s 2 million people and subsequently scale down protests along Gaza-Israel fence.

Since March, 170 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have been killed in the protests.

Hamas called for a new demonstration Friday.

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