Mideast envoy Blair warns that Gaza banks are on the verge of collapse
The office of International Mideast envoy Tony Blair says
the Gaza Strip's banks are on the verge of collapse.
In a memo to Israel's defense ministry, Blair's office says Israel must funnel some 100 million shekels, or about $28 million, into Gaza each month. The Israeli shekel is Gaza's main currency.
Without the cash, it says the Palestinian Authority will not be able to pay the salaries of thousands of civil
servants and Gaza's black market and money launderers will thrive. The letter was obtained by The AP on Sunday.
Israel is concerned that money transferred to Gaza will end up in the hands of Hamas militants. It also is
restricted by legislation that prohibits money transfers to terrorist groups. Since it was overtaken by Hamas last year Israel has considered it a "hostile entity."