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Palestinian Authority Criticized for Referring Thousands of Gaza Employees to Early Retirement

Palestinian Authority Criticized for Referring Thousands of Gaza Employees to Early Retirement

Thursday, 1 October, 2020 - 09:45
Palestinian employees process data on their laptops at Unit One in Gaza City January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

A controversy on Palestinian Authority employees in the Gaza Strip has erupted following a PA decision to offer early retirement to around 7,000 employees.

The Palestinian Ministry of Finance imposed an early retirement program on the employees, the majority of whom work for the ministries of education, health, transportation, social development, and finance.

This prompted the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to renew calls on the PA and the government to put an end to all forms of discrimination among the public sector employees and to suspend all procedures taken against them in Gaza.

The Front denounced the measures, which it said coincides with the worst humanitarian crisis facing Palestinians after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It stressed the urgency of national calls to halt all discrimination policies practiced against the Gaza Strip, describing the new measures as illegal and part of the collective punishment of its people.

The Front also decried statements made by Palestinian Social Affairs Minister Ahmed Majdalani, who said that Gaza laborers have been receiving their salaries for 13 years without working. They can’t be compared to the workers in the West Bank, he added.

Senior Fatah official in Gaza Ibrahim Abu al-Naja sent a letter to the government in Ramallah requesting a clarification of Majdalani’s statement, which he deemed offensive.

Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq al-Tirawi also criticized the latest decision and highlighted the importance of protecting salaries in Gaza, which preserve the people’s social dignity and provide them with a decent living.

For its part, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights called on the government to adhere to its legal commitments, to assume its responsibilities, and to withdraw the punitive measures imposed on Gaza since March 2017 under the pretext of political and geographical division.

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