West Bank: Thousands of Palestinians Strike against Social Security Law

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the West Bank to reject the Social Security Law. (Photo: Shadi Hatem, via MEMO)

Thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank joined a strike on Tuesday against their government’s proposed new social security law, fearing the fund will be mismanaged.

The strike saw much of Ramallah, Hebron (al-Khalil) and other Palestinian cities closed.

A few thousand people protested outside the Social Security Corporation in Ramallah, where Mahmoud Abbas’ government is based.

Under the proposed system, both private employers and their employees would pay monthly into a government-managed fund, with employees receiving a pension when they retire.

The government says it will provide new security for employees, arguing similar systems exist in countries across the globe.

Protesters say they do not trust the Palestinian government to manage the fund and point out there are no guarantees.

They also say Israel’s occupation of the West Bank means that the long-term existence of the Palestinian Authority government is far from secure.

Amer Farah, who works at Bank of Palestine in Ramallah, said that in functioning states the social security laws were important to protect citizens’ futures.

He told AFP:

“The country is not stable, neither economically nor politically. How will they implement the law?”

Israeli soldiers have carried out repeated raids inside Ramallah in recent weeks, including near Abbas’s headquarters, following two deadly shootings.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

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