UN envoy calls for Palestinian unity amid concerns over pay cuts

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UNITED NATIONS, April 9 (APP): The United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process has called for Palestinian unity amid concerns over local pay cuts.
“I am deeply concerned by the growing tensions in Gaza,” Nickolay
Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement Saturday.
“While the Palestinian Government needs to ensure its fiscal sustainability under increasingly difficult economic conditions, it is important that reforms or decisions to reduce expenditures are fairly distributed and made with consideration to the harsh conditions under
which people in Gaza live,” Mladenov noted.
He urged the responsible parties to work together to find a solution
and called on all factions “to allow the Palestinian Government to assume its responsibility in Gaza.”
Calling Gaza “an integral part of the future Palestinian state,” Mladenov said that no efforts should be spared to bring about “real national reconciliation” that ends the divide.
“Leaders have a responsibility to avoid escalation and bridge the growing divide between Gaza and the West Bank that further fragments the Palestinian people,” he added.
His comments come as tens of thousands of people reportedly took to
the streets in Gaza, following 30 per cent cuts to civil servants’
salaries.