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Palestinian Police Protest in Gaza, Demand Salaries


Thousands of Palestinian policemen fired into the air and some smashed windows at the Palestinian parliament building in Gaza Thursday as they called on the Hamas-led government to pay overdue salaries.

Most of the protesters belonged to the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Abbas, the leader of the more moderate Fatah movement, was elected president in 2005. The Islamic militant group, Hamas, formed a government after winning parliamentary elections in January.

Earlier this week, the cash-starved Palestinian government said it would be able to pay one month's salary to only about a quarter of more than 150,000 workers.

Government employees have not received pay since February. International donors cut off aid when Hamas took power.

On Wednesday, the head of the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs in the Palestinian territories David Shearer appealed for $170 million in additional humanitarian aid, above the $215 million the U.N. asked for late last year.

He said the humanitarian outlook for Palestinians is bleak and will get worse by the end of the year.

The U.S., European Union and Israel say Hamas must recognize Israel and renounce violence before aid to the Palestinian Authority can resume.

Hamas has rejected the demands.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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