The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is seriously concerned over the decision of the National Unity Government in Ramallah against the servants of the Palestinian Presidential Office and popular organizations and bodies in the Gaza Strip. The decision stipulates early retirement of the servants without any legal justification and in violation of the Amended Civil Service Law no. 4/2005. PCHR is concerned that this decision will be a step leading to the Palestinian government’s abandonment of its legal obligations towards the Gaza Strip, which began with deducting one third of the public servants’ salaries and referring thousands of Civil and Military servants to early retirement, particularly in light of efforts to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation and signing the Cairo Agreement. The latter agreement approves the restructuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) institutions and integrating public servants.
According to PCHR’s investigations, the Palestinian Government issued a decision to refer all the presidential office servants in the Gaza Strip to early retirement. The Palestinian government also issued a further decision to refer around 183 servants in the Palestinian popular organizations to early retirement, entering into force in the beginning of November 2017.
‘Arif Abu Jarad, Head of the PA Public Servants Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that, in late November, the PA took unfair decision against the Gaza Strip’s servants and referred around 400 servants, including 183 servants working in popular organizations, to early retirement in violation of the Amended Civil Service Law. Those servants were paid only 50% of their total salaries for November 2017, during the past few days.
The Palestinian Government’s decision to put the Civil Service servants on early retirement is inhumane and illegal and violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This decision will aggravate the already deteriorated economic and social conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the 11-year Israeli ongoing closure. Moreover, this decision is considered a violation of law as the government does not have the power to collectively retire the servants without thinking of the consequences and before the servants reach the retirement age.
PCHR condemns this decision and considers it as a violation of the Civil Service Law and international human rights conventions; PCHR calls upon:
- the Palestinian President to issue a decision to stop the arbitrary measures against the PA servants in the Gaza Strip, abolish the decision of putting them on early retirement and find mechanisms that would contribute to achieving job security and protecting these servants and their families from the deteriorating economic and social conditions; and
- The National Unity Government to respect the Palestinian law, stop all measures that would lead to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, assume its legal and administrative responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip and immediately reverse the unlawful decision to put public servants on early retirement that aims at targeting public servants’ livelihoods