Israel allows cash for Gazans

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Since the beginning of the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip, there have been two main shortages for the Gazans: food and money. Israel has allowed minimal food shipments in, but up until yesterday no cash had been let into the Strip. Heeding United Nations warnings that a blockade of cash flow to Gaza would cause a liquidity crisis, Israel allowed US$25 million into the Strip, where 1.5 million people are struggling to survive since the blockade imposed by Israel blocked all UN aid in early November.

The money will go to pay civil servants' salaries, and will be given to those in most desperate need of food. However, Palestinian economy minister Kamal Hassuneh has warned that $70 to $75 million for salaries is needed and that the money should be transferred every month, not just once.

In addition to allowing much-needed cash into Gaza, Israel has also begun allowing reporters into the area and admitting aid workers to dock in Gaza ports.

The blockade is now in its second month after it began because of rocket fire eminating from the area.