Monetary authority transfers funds to Gaza Strip

Transferring currency to the coastal strip requires coordination with the Israeli military authorities and a shortage of bills has held up public sector employees’ wages in recent months.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Monetary Authority delivered a shipment of money to bank branches in Gaza on Sunday in order to ease a cash crisis in the coastal enclave.

The authority told Ma’an that they have been working hard to ease the financial crisis in Gaza.

Governor of the authority, Jihad al-Wazir, said earlier in January that a shortage of currency had held up payment of public sector employees’ wages in recent months and the deficit of shekels was increasing the price of the dollar in the coastal strip.

Under a stringent Israeli blockade since 2007, transferring currency to the coastal strip requires coordination with the Israeli military authorities.

Experts in Gaza say that the siege is being tightened after Western Union stopped its services to many currency exchange stores in the Gaza Strip over concerns about money laundering in recent weeks.

Professor of economy at Gaza City’s Al-Azhar University Samir Abu Mudallala said Saturday that the Western Union was vital for Palestinians to transfer money in and out of the Gaza Strip safely.

Currency exchange offices will also be hit, he said, as they have already paid considerable sums to the money transfer company for the service.

(www.maannews.net / 15.01.2012)

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