Israel Transfers $25+ Million to Gaza

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CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - Israel transferred $25,730,843 million in cash to banks in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, ostensibly to pay November salaries to some 70,000 Palestinian Authority (PA) employees living there.

But PA officials in Ramallah, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, said there's no way to guarantee the workers will be paid or that Hamas wouldn't siphon off some of the money for its own use.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the transfer and Defense Minister Ehud Barak carried it out.

The truck transferring the cash was held up briefly by Israelis protesting the lack of government action to secure the release of captured IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit, who complained that at the least, the transfer should be conditioned on receiving news about the captured soldier.

Under the now defunct Olso Accords, Israel committed to provide residents of the Gaza Strip with shekels to replace worn-out currency and to pay the salaries of PA employees.

Yoel Marshak, head of Headquarters for the Release of Gilad Shalit, decried the transfer.

"We have no problem with transferring water and food, but cash-flow will directly fund terror," Marshak said.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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