Jordan's Civil Servants to Chip in One Day's Salary to Intifada
Around 150,000 Jordanian civil servants will give one day's salary to back the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israel, in line with a decision taken at the Arab summit, the government said Monday.
The emergency summit in Cairo on Sunday set up funds worth one billion dollars for the Palestinian people and invited "all Arab citizens to donate their salary for one day to support the uprising of the Palestinian people".
Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb convened his government for a meeting late Sunday after his return from Cairo, where he and Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib had accompanied King Abdullah II.
"The cabinet decided to deduct a day's salary from each government employee in support of the Intifada and the Palestinian struggle in these critical times facing our (Arab) nation," the government said in a statement.
The cabinet also called on the private sector to follow suit.
Around 150,000 people are employed in various government sectors earning a total of 360 million dollars a year.
Assessing the two-day summit, Abu Ragheb said it was "a good and successful beginning for joint Arab action" against Israel.
But he dismissed as "unacceptable" a decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for a retaliatory "time out" in the peace process, reiterating Jordan's stand that peace was a strategic option for the region.
Jordan's foreign minister said Sunday that the Israeli decision was "another blow" to the peace process.
"The peace process rather needs huge efforts to ready the climate for a resumption of (Israeli-Palestinian) negotiations, to stop Israeli aggressions on the Palestinian people and to end the blockade of the Palestinian territories," Khatib said.
Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, has indefinitely postponed sending its new ambassador Abdel Ilah al-Kurdi to Tel Aviv in protest at Israel's military operations against the Palestinians.
A total of 134 people have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian clashes since September 28, all but eight of them Arabs – AMMAN (AFP)
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