Government workers employed by the Palestinian authority have invaded parliament to demand payment of overdue salaries. The civil servants demonstrated outside the legislative assembly in Ramallah then stormed inside.
The speaker, a prominent member of Hamas, suspended the session until the situation returned to normal. The civil servants have not been paid because of international sanctions imposed when Hamas won elections in January. Meanwhile Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza in an effort to find a way of lifting the financial blockade which is crippling the economy in the Palestinian territories. Haniyeh and his Hamas party are under pressure to renounce their hardline anti-Israel position. Reports said the two agreed in principle to integrate the controversial pro-Hamas militia in Gaza with the police. But correspondents say it remains unclear when this will happen.