Bethlehem Public Nurses go on strike

February 19, 2007 4:01 PM Ghassan Bannoura Internal Unrest, News Report, Palestine 0

The trade union of Palestinian Nurses working in the public health sector in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem continued their strike for the third day on Monday.The strike started on Saturday, after the Palestinian government failed to meet the conditions of the agreement that ended the six month strike at the binging of this year. The agreement was to pay the nurses their overdue salaries and pay the new salaries regularly and without delay.

According to a statement by the trade union the strike will go on until the demands of the nurses in the public heath sector are fulfilled.

In a phone call with Hanni Salamah, the director of the Palestinian Nurses trade union in Bethlehem, Salamah said ‘we do not like to strike because we know that our people we suffer and not the government, but the government should look down and help its people. We will continue to provide medical care for life saving cases and cases of severe illness, like cancer.

Salamah added that ‘the strike is not only in the city of Bethlehem, it is all over the West Bank, and we are willing to work with the financial ministry to solve the problem. As I said before, we do not like the strike’.

65,000 Palestinian public sector employees went on strike for at least six months in 2006. The strike was ended after the Palestinian government agreed to pay overdue salaries and continue to pay the new ones.

The Palestinian Authority has failed to pay it’s employees due to the economical and political sanctions that was imposed on it by the US and the EU. The sanctions were imposed after the Hamas party’s landslide victory in elections, and the ensuing forming a Hamas-led Palestinian government in January 2006.

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Ghassan Bannoura

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