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Hamas faces acute financial crisis

English.news.cn   2013-04-09 21:30:21            

GAZA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been suffering an acute financial crisis since the beginning of 2013, a source within the Palestinian movement said Tuesday.

Hamas' donors, mainly Iran, reduced their fiscal assistance to the militant group since their ties have been strained in the past couple of years, as Hamas refused to align itself with Iran in opposing the revolt in Syria against the government.

Early last year, Hamas' leader, Khaled Meshaal, abandoned his long-time base in Damascus and moved to Qatar to avoid pressure from Syria and Iran.

According to the source, an Egyptian security campaign against smuggling via tunnels beneath Gaza's southern border with Sinai has affected Hamas' tax income from the smuggled goods.

The source said that the Hamas government has informed the public servants that five to 10 percent of their salaries will be cut until the crisis is over.

Ziad Al-Zaza, the Hamas financial minister, admitted that his government is dealing with a financial crisis but refused to give details.

Hamas lawmakers have approved the annual budget at 897 million U.S. dollars earlier this year, with a 654 million as a shortfall that was supposed to be covered by external aid.

Editor: An
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