The PA government based in the West Bank stressed the necessity for the return of all old employees to their jobs for the first time in 10 years, after Hamas seized Gaza in a 2007, instructing ministers to arrange for the transition.
“The related ministers have to arrange the return of their employees through a suitable mechanism that would activate the function of the government in the southern districts (Gaza Strip) as part of the actual enforcement of the reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo in October," it added.
The government said that the legal and administrative committee will look into the status of the employees appointed by the Hamas authorities in Gaza after June 14, 2007 as part of the government efforts to make the reconciliation successful.
It said its empowerment in Gaza means that “all ministers should be able to do their duties in the southern districts just as in the northern ones (the West Bank) without any obstructions.”
It also stressed “the empowerment of the government in the Gaza Strip and the exercise of its powers in full as in the West Bank without the interference of any party according to the law, including the unified financial empowerment through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the sole party responsible for simultaneous collection and disbursement of funds.”
“Full control over the crossings and government responsibility to impose public order and the rule of law in conformity with the justice sector, providing security and safety for the people and safeguarding their rights, property and freedoms and the need to accomplish this in full as a necessary first step and the cornerstone for moving to resolve the rest of the issues,” the statement further added.
The 2011 agreement signed between the Palestinian factions in Cairo provides for returning all civil employees who were hired before 14th June 2007 in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including those absent or dismissed due to the division, with their full rights guaranteed and canceling all dismissal orders.
The agreement underlines that this step shall be made based on a mechanism developed by the Administrative and Legal Committee, which will be formed by consensus, with no amendments or new appointments made until the Committee's work is completed.
In October, Hamas and Fatah signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo aimed at healing their decade-long rift after Hamas captured Gaza from Fatah in 2007 after days of street fighting.
In return, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said the government call for former employees to return to their jobs was “in violation of a 2011 reconciliation deal in Cairo” between Palestinian factions.
Barhoum said in a statement that the government's decision is contrary to a pre-existing agreement that the return of the employees hired before 14th June 2007 should be implemented in accordance with a mechanism set by the Administrative and Legal Committee.