(January 13, 2019 / JNS) Palestinians have been protesting against the passage of a relatively new social security law by the Palestinian Authority.
According to a report by The Jerusalem Post, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Ramallah on Wednesday—with smaller rallies in Shechem/Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jenin—to express their outrage over a three-month-old law establishing a social security fund without a legislative process and a lack of certainty as to whether the funds would be secure, given the questionable future of the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.
The National Social Security Movement was quoted by The Media Line as saying the measure was taken against the will of the people, and that “given the ongoing political and economic instability, social security is the last thing the Palestinian people need.”
All new regulations taken up by the Palestinian Authority since 2007 have been carried out by presidential edict of P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas. According to The Media Line, the Palestinian Legislative Council passed 90 laws until 1996, whereas Abbas unilaterally enacted more than 140 laws between 2007 and 2016.
Israeli social security taxes are currently collected by Israel’s labor union, the Histadrut, but the P.A. has recently requested the funds be remitted to it.
A recent demonstration at the Qalandiya checkpoint by Palestinians who work in Israel urged Israel not to transfer the money to the Palestinian Authority, due to their concern that the workers would not get the monies back.