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PCHR Welcomes Prime Minister Shtayyeh’s Decision to Cancel Financial Retirement for the Gaza Strip PA Employees

Ref: 27/2020

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes the decision of Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh to cancel the financial retirement for the Gaza Strip PA employees. PCHR believes that this rightful decision redresses these employees and would eliminate the suffering they endured over the past two years.

Shtayyeh stated in a press conference held on Sunday, 29 March 2020, that the Palestinian Government, under the guidance of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, decided to cancel the financial retirement for public servants in the Gaza Strip starting next month (April), pointing out that the retirement will be optional. He added that: “it is important for us to achieve equality between the people of the same nation.”

In 2017, the Palestinian Authority referred about 6,000 public servants from the Gaza Strip to early retirement, within  a series of measures that included cutting the salaries of hundreds of employees on political grounds and enforcing general salary deductions on all public servants.

PCHR considers financial retirement an illegal procedure, it is one of the forced retirement forms imposed by the government, according to which the public servant receives a pension salary from the Ministry of Finance without referring their file to the Insurance and Pensions Authority, which is the designated authority responsible for retired  employees.

Financial retirement targeted public servants who maintained work at their posts, although they have not reached the legal retirement age and without regard to the legal retirement period. This is incompatible with Article (101) of the Civil Service Law No. (4) of 1998, which stipulate that: ” Referring public employees to early retirement is carried out in two cases; either on the request of the employee themselves, or as a disciplinary punishment.”

PCHR appreciates the Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the financial retirement for the Gaza Strip PA employees, and hopes that more decisions will be taken to improve conditions in the Gaza Strip, which has been suffering successive crises for 13 years due to the Israeli-imposed closure and and internal division.