Date: 26 Dec 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen:
– Philip Alston / Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty.
– Antonio Guterich/ Secretary-General of the United Nations.
– Michael Lynk/ United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
– Nikolai Miladinov/ UN Secretary-General’s envoy to the Middle East.
– High Commissioner for Human Rights.
– European Union.
– International Union of Parliamentarians.
– League of Arab States.
– Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Subject / A follow-up letter on the continuation of the Palestinian Authority to implement the policy of cutting, deducting and delaying the salaries of the public servants in Gaza Strip.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) highly appreciates your continued commitment to human and humanity, including intervention to eradicate poverty, considering it as the path towards a more peaceful world community..
With reference to the above subject, and in addition to our previous letters regarding the Palestinian government and the Ministry of Finance and under the guidance of President Mahmoud Abbas, cutting, deducting and delaying the salaries of the public servants in Gaza Strip. This has exacerbated the poverty and unemployment rates, which reached more than 65% of the citizens, led to a terrible economic recession and the decline in the purchasing power of citizens, which is the worst according to official statistical data, and therefore we are addressing you again to invite and urge you to exert more efforts by taking practical and immediate measures that will pressure the Palestinian government to end its ongoing sanctions since April 2017 and to address the growing poverty crisis in Gaza Strip.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the framework of the follow-up and documentation carried out by the International Commission, on the continuous violations of civil servants of Gaza Strip, whether by dismissal, cutting salaries or deduction, or by compulsory retirement since the beginning of 2017 until now under the directives of president Abbas in violation of Civil Service Law No. (4) of 1998 and its amendments, which states that the employee’s referral to early retirement is limited to two cases, either by disciplinary punishment or based on the employee request, both cases are regulated and protected by law. The administrative body has no right whatsoever to refer public employees to early retirement or deduct, cut or delay their salaries. In the same context, the Commission has monitored a number of developments as follows:
1- The Palestinian Authority, under the directives of the President, continues to implement the policy of cutting and -deducting the salaries of public employees and the compulsory retirement in violation of the laws related to public service.
2 – The percentage of the deduction of salaries is between 50% – 70% of the total monthly salary, without giving any legal or reasonable justification.
3-This deduction is a discriminatory crime among employees on the basis of their place of residence, since the policy of cutting, deducting and delaying payment dates only applies to employees in Gaza Strip, without their counterparts in the West Bank.
4-The Palestinian Authority, the government and the Ministry of Finance continue to exercise a policy of delaying monthly salaries, which may sometimes take up to two or three months or more without any reason.
5 – The seriousness of these steps taken by the Palestinian government in light of the serious humanitarian situation of the population in Gaza Strip, as more than 70% of the total families are unable to provide health food for their children, in light of the continued funding crisis of UNRWA and the siege imposed by the occupation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The steps of the Palestinian government above constitute a disgraceful form of discrimination on a political and geographical basis, in addition to being a full-fledged crime against its citizens in accordance with national and international human rights laws, and the international human rights obligations of the Palestinian Authority by acceding to many of the relevant conventions. We hope that you will exert your good efforts to urge the Palestinian Authority to immediately reverse its violations of public servants rights. The citizens of Gaza Strip deserve to work with them and for them, they all are looking for an international role protects them from poverty and unemployment as one of the translations of preserving dignity and ensuring an adequate standard of living.