PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Attacking Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update

19 March 2006

 

External Referral and Health Insurance Departments in the Ministry of Health Strike against Continued Attacks

The workers’ strike for the departments of external referrals and health insurance departments in the Palestinian Ministry of Health entered its 4th consecutive day. The strike is in protest against the repeated attacks by gunmen against the staff of the two departments. 

PCHR’s initial investigation indicates that at approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 16 November 2006, an armed group suspected of belonging to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – the armed branch of Fatah attacked the offices of the these two departments in the Abu Khadra Governmental Complex in Gaza City. The attackers assaulted a number of staff, and forced them to leave their offices and close them. The attacks came in protest against steps taken by the Ministry in the areas of referrals for treatment abroad and health insurance.

PCHR’s fieldworker learned that the striking staff members are working in the branch offices of the departments, each in his/her area of residence. In addition, it is noted that the two departments will move out of the Abu Khadra complex to a new rented venue.

This attack is not the first against these two departments on the backdrop of external referral and insurance procedures. On 4 March 2006, Al-Aqsa Martyrs gunmen attacked the offices to protest the Palestinian Cabinet decision to provide health care exceptions for uninsured citizens.

PCHR is concerned about the continuation of these dangerous attacks, which constitute a continuum of the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Centre calls upon the PNA, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip tel/fax: +972 (0)8 282 4776 – 282 5893

email: pchr@pchrgaza.org      website: www.pchrgaza.org