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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
PCHR Warn of an Environmental and Health Disaster from Uncollected Garbage in Gaza City

PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release

Ref: 162/2007
Date: 14 November 2007
Time: 13:15 GMT

PCHR Warn of an Environmental and Health Disaster from Uncollected Garbage
in Gaza City

PCHR is extremely concerned by the accumulation of uncollected garbage
throughout Gaza City as a result of a full strike by municipality employees
who have not received their salaries for 8 months. The strike has stopped
the provision of municipal services to the population, including health,
environment, and garbage collection services throughout the city. Piles of
uncollected garbage constitute a serious environmental and health risk
threatening the population. While understanding that the right to strike is
guaranteed by the law, the Centre calls upon the municipality workers to
work to avert an environmental and health disaster that can cause additional
maladies as a result of the uncollected garbage in neighborhoods, markets,
and around hospitals and schools.

Gaza municipality workers have been on strike since Saturday, 10 November
2007, to demand the payment of their salaries that have not been paid since
March 2007. Since then, uncollected garbage has been accumulating in and
around bins in streets, markets, neighborhoods, and near institutions such
as hospitals and schools.

PCHR considers the right to strike as a right that is protected by
Palestinian law and International Humanitarian Law. However, the Centre
calls for preserving the interests and welfare of the population, and to
protect them from the environmental and health risks of the uncollected
garbage. The Centre calls for forming emergency teams to collect garbage,
and:

Calls upon municipality workers, especially those on the health,
environment, and transportation departments to take into consideration the
impact of the suspension of these basic services; and calls for forming
emergency crews to work to reduce the dangers on the health and safety of
the population.

Calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to meet the demands of the
municipality workers through direct negotiation with their representatives
so as to reach a viable solution to pay their salaries for the past 8 months
and to ensure the regularity of payment in the future. This is essential in
order to ensure a dignified life for these workers and their families,
especially in light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the OPT.

Calls upon the local community and the population to contribute towards
solving this problem by paying any unpaid fees to the municipalities in
order to enable them to pay the salaries of their employees.

Public Document
**************************************
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org
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