Middle East

UN envoy denies aiding Hamas

Palestinian employees, belonging to the former Hamas government, protest in Gaza City over being removed from government payroll on June 8, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: The U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process has denied allegations in the Israeli media that he offered to aid Hamas.

Robert Serry said in a statement Sunday that he was asked by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to help transfer Qatari funds to pay the salaries of former Hamas employees who lost their jobs after the new Palestinian unity government was formed.

He said he was considering the request and had notified Israeli authorities. He insisted the U.N. would not provide such assistance without Israeli approval.

An Israeli official confirmed the allegations, reported by Channel 2, and said Israel was considering expelling the envoy. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.





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