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Hamas sinks in polls after cutting salaries to public servants

Hamas' popularity has fallen behind Fatah in the Gaza Strip, according to recent polls, as frustration mounts over its handling of the territory's economic crisis.
Palestinian Hamas militants march during a training exercise in Gaza February 17, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX18ZRL

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On Feb. 2, concerns seemed evident on the faces of governmental employees in the Gaza Strip, as they lined up in a long line in front of the Hamas-affiliated National Islamic Bank. They were waiting to receive their salaries, which had been reduced by 50% for the third month in a row.

The government pays its employees between 1,000 Israeli shekels ($285) and 4,000 Israeli shekels ($1,140) a month, as announced by Gaza government Deputy Prime Minister Ziad al-Zaza in a statement on Jan. 29 to the governmental news agency Al-Ray.

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