The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), in a statement, said it was strongly concerned over the Palestinian Government’s decision, against Palestinian Authority (PA) employees in the Gaza Strip, to cease the payment of salaries for thousands without any legal basis and in violation of the amended Civil Service Law No. (4)/2005 and Law of Service in the Palestinian Security Forces No. 8 of 2005.

PCHR said it is also concerned that the decision would be a prelude to the PA’s abdication of its legal obligations towards the Gaza Strip. The decision came following the statement by ‘Azzam Al-Ahmed, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who disclosed the Palestinian leadership’s intention to declare the Gaza Strip as “a rebel territory”, in addition to the series of measures taken by the PA, against the Gaza Strip, for 2 years, including deducting from the employees’ salaries, minimizing medical referrals and decreasing supplies of medicines and medical consignments.

According to PCHR’s follow-up on Tuesday, 05 February, 2019, around 5,043 PA employees from the Gaza Strip, working in the civil and military sectors, were surprised with not having their salaries in their bank accounts for January 2019, under the pretext of their support or affiliation with the Democratic Reform Trend in the Fateh Movement, headed by PLC Member Mohammed Dahlan, and with Hamas and al-Jihad Movements.

“The Palestinian Government’s decision, though not being legal, violates the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the state of Palestine has become part of in 2014,” PCHR said, according to Palestine News Network.

“PCHR is also concerned over the resulting serious repercussions that would lead to the aggravation of the already detriorated economic situation in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli closure for 12 years.  The decision also strengthens the non-discrimination and inequality policy among the Government sector employees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and undermines the unity of PA territories in addition to leading to the complete separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

PCHR condemned the Palestinian Government’s decision and considers it a violation of the amended Civil Service Law No. (4)/2005 and Law of Service in the Palestinian Security Forces No. 8 of 2005, in addition to the International human rights conventions.

Thus, it called upon the Palestinian President to issue an immediate decision to end all the arbitrary measures against PA employees in the Gaza Strip, abolish the decision of ceasing their salaries and find ways that contribute to achieving job security and protecting the employees and their families from the deteriorating economic and social conditions; and called upon the Palestinian Government to respect Palestinian law, end all measures that lead to the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions, and to fulfill its legal and administrative obligations towards the Gaza Strip.