Middle East

Thousands of Palestinians protest social security law

The controversial law came into force earlier this month

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 12.11.2018
Thousands of Palestinians protest social security law FILE PHOTO

Ramallah

By Mohamed Abdullah  

RAMALLAH 

Thousands of Palestinians staged a sit-in outside the government headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday to protest a controversial social security law.  

The law came into force earlier this month, with the Ramallah-based government unveiling a timetable for enforcing the legislation on all firms.  

Protesters called for scrapping the legislation and for the resignation of Labor Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla.  

Monday’s sit-in is the third by Palestinian protesters against the controversial law in the past four months.  

The law calls for deducting 7.2 percent of private-sector employees’ monthly salaries for a social-security fund (which employers would also be expected to pay into) and setting the national retirement age -- for both men and women -- at 60 years.  

The law was not approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament), which has remained largely non-functional since 2007 due to fundamental political differences between Hamas (which runs the Gaza Strip) and Fatah (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian government).

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