For Palestinian Hamas Faction, Surprise Payday

Fatah accidentally bankrolls rival's security forces
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2007 2:56 PM CDT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007. The Palestinian president and the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – To victors in Palestinian factional fighting went the spoils, if temporarily, the BBC reports. Officers of Hamas' security force, which wrested control of the Gaza Strip from rival Fatah in June, were notified yesterday that Fatah had paid their salaries. The West Bank-based, Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority rushed to correct its error—but not before hundreds cashed paychecks.

Western aid diminished after last year's election victory by Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by many governments. Civil-service salaries dwindled—until a slip meant big bank for 3,000 officers. "To their surprise, they got phone calls telling them to collect their salaries. They rushed to the bank," one official said.