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Palestinian Hamas police officers stand guard outside a post office where hundreds of employees of the former Hamas government lined up to receive $1,200 as part of their wages that have been delayed for months, in Gaza City on Wednesday.

Some 24,000 civil servants hired by the Islamist group Hamas, many of whom have not received a full salary in almost a year, finally got some pay on Wednesday from the new Palestinian unity government based in the West Bank. The funds were supplied by the gas-rich kingdom of Qatar, which is an ally of Hamas. But the fact the cash was delivered by the West Bank administration gave a boost to hopes that the unity pact between Palestinian rivals might bear fruit.

Palestinian Hamas-hired civil servants wait to receive payment outside a post office in Gaza City on Oct. 29.MOHAMMED SALEM / Reuters