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Palestinians stand in front of closed doors of Palestine in Gaza City. Banks in the Gaza Strip closed their branches today due to lack of liquidity and Israel's refusal to authorise cash transfers to the besieged territory. The Palestinian Authority was ousted from Gaza when Hamas seized power in June 2007, but it continues to pay the salaries of some 70,000 civil servants in the impoverished territory. Israel imposed a blockade after the Islamist takeover and further tightened the sanctions on November 5 following a flare-up in violence.