Olmert orders cash transfer to Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the transfer of about $43 million to Gaza.

The money, from banks in the West Bank, is earmarked for the salaries of Palestinian Authority employees. 

The transfer, announced Thursday, was to occur immediately.

P.A. workers have not been able to receive their salaries in Gaza since Israel’s military operation and requested the cash transfer from Israel, which holds taxes collected from the Palestinian Authority. Hamas has been paying its own workers, however.

Political and security forces believe the funds could end up in the hands of Hamas or other terror organizations, according to reports.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, candidates for prime minister in the Feb. 10 national elections, were vehemently opposed to the transfer.

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