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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK ON VERGE OF REVOLT AGAINST SOCIAL SECURITY LAW

Saturday 12/January/2019 - 07:38 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
For nearly 100 hundred days Palestinians have been staging protests against a widely-detested social security law، raising the pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' government. The law، passed by decree، established the Social Security Corporation، an entity that administers retirement benefits on behalf of Palestinian West Bank residents، ACCORDING TO THE Jerusalem Post.
On Wednesday، despite difficult weather conditions، thousands of demonstrators gathered in the city center of Ramallah to voice their dismay over the measure. To date، smaller rallies have taken place in other towns such as Nablus، Hebron، Bethlehem and Jenin.
“The PA claims that the number of Palestinian protesters against the law is less than the number that supports it،” Amer Hamdan، a spokesman for the National Social Security Movement (NSSM)، a grassroots organization that opposes the move، told The Media Line. "This has led to the majority being subjected to the will of the minority.
"The PA maintains that a social security fund is a national demand everywhere،” he elaborated، "but given the ongoing political and economic instability، social security is the last thing the Palestinian people need."
Numerous Palestinians expressed similar sentiments to The Media Line، questioning the legitimacy of the initiative which they described as “biased.” That the unilateral move was implemented outside the framework of a proper legislative process adds to the concerns of a citizenry already distressed by intermittent tensions with Israel as well as the longstanding division between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Abbas' Fatah faction.
"The concept of social security is not necessarily a bad thing but the way it was implemented is not ideal،" Yamen، a Palestinian activist who asked that his last name not be disclosed، asserted to The Media Line. "It is critical that this type of legislation، which affects people’s lives quite directly، be clearly understood by the general population.

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