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Doctors in West Bank public hospitals go on strike

March 13, 2014 12:59 P.M. (Updated: March 15, 2014 12:33 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Doctors in public hospitals across the West Bank went on strike on Thursday in response to a decision by the Palestinian Supreme Court which ruled protest action by the doctors union illegal.

A member of the union, Majdi al-Jallad, told Ma'an that doctors were 100 percent committed to the strike, highlighting that only emergency medical cases will be treated.

There are around 1,000 doctors working in public hospitals in the West Bank, he added, warning that the union will respond with further action if the Ministry of Health punishes striking doctors.

The dispute stems from a decision by the health ministry to ban doctors from working in private clinics.

"In Turkey, it took them five years to ban doctors from running private clinics, and in our case, the minister made a decision on 18/11/2013 and he wants it into effect on 1/1/2014," al-Jallad said.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian Supreme Court of Justice ruled that strike action organized by the union in March was illegal and violated Article 67 of the Palestinian Labor Law, active since 2000.

According to the law, if a certain body wishes to organize strike action which affects the public sector, the Ministry must be informed in writing four weeks prior to the strike.

The law also states that at least 51 percent of laborers in the body must have signed the written notice and if the labor dispute is brought before an authority strike action must end.
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