US Law Prohibits Palestinian Government from Paying Hamas Salaries

Is it really peace they want?Palestinian banner. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Is it really peace they want?Palestinian banner. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Hamas is facing a money problem thanks to American anti-terrorism funding laws, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) government cannot pay the terror group’s members’ salaries according to a PA official. Speaking with the Ma’an News Agency, Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa said that they were looking to get money to the roughly 27,000 Hamas civil servants via a non-governmental entity, such as the United Nations. This would be temporary fix, he said.

The PA’s main political faction, Fatah, signed a unity deal with Hamas earlier this year. According to Mustafa, Hamas expects the PA to pay the salaries of its 45,000 members following the reconciliation deal. Hamas has both governmental officials in Gaza as well as militant terrorists.

Hamas, the sponsor of suicide bombings and the orchestrator of three mini-wars with Israel since 2009, has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the US and others for years. Israel has warned that hasty transfers of money with the goal of helping Gazans could end up in terrorist hands and used to rebuild the infrastructure used to wage war with Israel.

The latest escalation of Hamas violence with Israel came just this past summer, as thousands of rockets were launched by the terror groups in Gaza at Israel. As part of the fighting, Israel took down dozens of Hamas terror tunnels that reached Israel and were designed to enable terror kidnappings and murders of Israelis.

The sides finally reached a ceasefire after Hamas accepted an Egyptian-mediated deal they had previously rejected.

Hamas had claimed victory following the cessation of hostilities, but right now their victory-speeches are ringing hollow—like some of their members’ bank accounts could end up sounding if the PA doesn’t figure out a way to pay them.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 10, 2014)

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