On Thursday, 24 September 2020, Fatah and Hamas Movements announced, in a joint statement, an agreement to hold general elections in the oPt, pursuant to delegation talks in Turkey. The statement confirmed that they maturated an agreed vision to hold general elections: the legislative, presidential and the Palestinian National Council; starting with the legislative elections within six months.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomed this agreement, and calls upon the Palestinian Authority to fulfill its legal obligations, bear its responsibilities and retract the punitive measures that were imposed on the Gaza Strip in March 2017, under the pretext of the political and geographical division, as these pretexts no longer hold ground.
These developments impose imperative measures necessary to nourish a climate of reconciliation and national unity; most importantly is to retract the decision to cut the salaries of hundreds of PA employees for political reasons, and to cancel the early retirement decision. Additionally, the PA should suspend the financial pension system, and the deductions from military and civil employees’ salaries, which reach about 50%. These punitive measures are in violation of the amended Civil Service Law No. (4)/2005 and the Law of Service in the Palestinian Security Forces No. 8 of 2005. Furthermore, the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which the State of Palestine is a Contracting Party since 2014. As such, the current political updates require a guaranteed and fair budget support for service sectors in the Gaza Strip, and the supply of medicines, medical equipment, and medical supplies to the Ministry of Health’s warehouses in Gaza.
For many years now, PCHR has warned of the impact of the PA punitive measures on the Gaza population’s economic and social situations, especially under the 13-year long Israeli closure and its consequent upsurge in poverty and unemployment rates.