Hamas govt employees strike over expected job losses

Hamas civil servants block the entrance to the Gaza City headquarters of the Palestinian unity government on December 31, 2014Hamas civil servants went on strike Wednesday after the Palestinian government said it would rehire thousands of Gaza staff who were laid off when the Islamist movement seized power in 2007. Hundreds blocked the entrance to the Gaza City headquarters of the consensus government, a day after it pledged to rehire tens of thousands of workers laid off seven years ago, potentially threatening the livelihood of the 50,000 or so people Hamas hired to replace them. Government spokesman Ihab Bseiso said an unspecified number of the Hamas government’s employees would also be taken on but only in case of ministerial “need”. The protest took place as ministers from the West Bank-based government were on a working visit in Gaza in only their second trip to the war-torn territory since taking office in June.

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