By Aysar al-Ais
Some 7,000 Palestinian security personnel -- in both the West Bank and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip -- will soon be referred to early retirement, a Palestinian Authority (PA) official said Wednesday.
Speaking to the Voice of Palestine radio station, Majed al-Helo, head of the PA’s Retirement Authority, said the move “does not have any political objectives”.
Al-Helo did not provide the names of the security personnel slated for early retirement, but said they would receive 70 percent of their pensions.
If implemented, it would not be the first move of its kind.
In August, the Ramallah-based PA made a similar announcement, saying that 7,000 public employees in the Gaza Strip had been forced into early retirement.
According to al-Helo, more Palestinian civil servants -- he did not provide any numbers -- may also eventually be pushed to retire.
“Such a decision [i.e., to refer security personnel to early retirement] is based on a number of criteria,” he said, “including both age and rank”.
He went on to stress that the move was ultimately aimed at “reforming the [Palestinian] security agencies and enhancing their performance”.
Al-Helo declined to comment, however, when asked by Anadolu Agency when the decision would come into force.
Notably, the announcement comes less than two weeks after Hamas signed a landmark agreement in Cairo with rival Palestinian faction Fatah (which leads the PA) aimed at ending 10 years of political division.
If it holds, the deal will allow the Fatah-led Palestinian government in Ramallah to assume political and administrative responsibility for the Gaza Strip, which for the last 10 years has been governed by Hamas.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.