Palestinian Hamas-hired employees shout slogans after breaking past the gate of the Palestinian cabinet headquarters to demand their pay, in Gaza City January 13, 2015. (REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
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Palestinian head teacher Abdel-Hakim Abu Jamus has just given his last shekels to his daughter for school and has nothing left to feed his family of eight.Like tens of thousands of Palestinian public sector workers, he has not been paid since December after Israel suspended millions of dollars in tax revenues which should have been transferred to the Palestinian Authority, as punishment for joining the International Criminal Court.On that occasion Israel froze the funds for six months.Blocking the money deprives the PA of more than two-thirds of its monthly budget, excluding foreign aid, and prevents it paying its roughly 180,000 employees, which costs almost $200 million a month.In 2007, when Hamas seized power in Gaza, forcing out forces loyal to the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, roughly 70,000 government employees were left jobless. Hamas then took on 50,000 new workers who have served the Gaza administration for the past seven years.
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