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Palestinian union of civil servants to appeal dissolution

Dec. 8, 2014 12:03 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2014 11:55 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Head of the former union of civil servants, Bassam Zakarneh, said Monday that the union will appeal to the Palestinian High Court of Justice to overturn a decision to close its' offices and dissolve the movement.

The union has delivered all necessary documents to a lawyer who will submit them to the high court next week.

The court will investigate the decision by the Palestinian unity government to dissolve the union of civil servants and label it an illegal organization.

The court will also look into allegations that the PA arbitrarily moved employees in the union to different positions and deducted one days' wages from civil servants.

Zakarneh said he would accept the ruling of the high court and is ready for public dialogue with the PA.

The secretary of the civil servants union, Mohamed al-Araj, and union chief Bassam Zakarneh, were detained in early November after handing themselves in to PA authorities after receiving arrest warrants.

President Mahmoud Abbas' bureau said in a statement at the time of their detention that the union of civil servants was an illegal body established without legal basis.

The presidential statement said that the union continued to operate despite warnings, which "resulted in harm to state properties and to the interests of homeland and citizens."

Zakarneh and the union had recently called for strikes to protest the government's "failure to meet the union's demands."

The official is frequently at odds with the Ramallah-based authorities over labor disputes.
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