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Arabic press review: Qatar considers paying Gaza workers

Doha looks to bridge Palestinian pay gap, probe reveals discrimination in Israeli hospitals and a Saudi warehouse goes up in flames
Gaza employees wait for salaries unpaid by the Palestinian Authority (AFP)

Money talks

Qatar is considering paying the salaries of Palestinian state employees in Gaza, according to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar.

The newspaper quotes "knowledgeable sources" as saying Qatar was trying to alleviate the employees' suffering, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "declared his inability to pay them”.

Abbas' Palestinian Authority has cut the pay of tens of thousands of workers in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, or failed to pay them altogether.

The PA says it does not have the money to give.

The Qatari Ambassador to Palestine Mohammed al-Ammadi is scheduled to visit Gaza soon to discuss this proposal, according to the newspaper.

“The Qatar initiative is moving beyond the humanitarian side this time and is related to fundamental improvements," the sources said.

"Qatar will support projects to improve electricity, water and other things that Ammadi may soon announce."

When a child is born

Hebrew media outlets have documented evidence of Israel's "racial discrimination" in hospitals - including separating Jewish women and their babies from others in maternity wards, according the London-based newspaper, al-Quds al-Arabi.

The newspaper added that some hospitals in Israel separate Palestinian women from the Jewish ones within maternity wards and those four Israeli hospitals are adopting the same policy, either at the request of Jewish women or by the departments themselves.

These institutions included Hadassah and Har Hatzofim hospitals in Jerusalem, Soroka in Beersheba, Haemek in Afula and the Galilee Medical Centre in Nahariya.

Al-Quds al-Arabi said the practice has been in place for more than 10 years in some hospitals.

Burning sensation

A huge fire broke out on Sunday at the Saudi port of al-Batha's customs on the United Arab Emirates border, Arabi21 news website reported.

The Saudi customs authority said the fire broke out in a warehouse but did not affect commercial traffic in the port.

The authority said firefighters managed to “stop the blaze in the area where it broke out, which contains various seized properties”.

It said the fire did force a shutdown for a few hours.

The authority did not state the causes of the fire, saying only that "investigations are ongoing".

Cash down the drain

More than 100 Algerian families living in Les Eucalyptus, east of Algiers, have been suffering from a lack of drinking water for nearly 20 years, according to newspaper Echorouk El-Yawmi.

The Algerian newspaper said the area has no water network, electricity or gas, and the families had received repeated promises from government officials that the problem would be solved - but nothing has changed.

These residents are forced to buy drinking water in tanks, which last only 20 days.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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