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Arafat’s Legacy: Environmental and Health Disaster from Uncollected Garbage in Gaza

Rotting garbage is indeed the deserved and fitting image for Gaza, land stolen from the Jewish people, an image just in time to coincide with the anniversary of the death of the foul-smelling murderer Jew-hating Egyptian Yassir Arafat. From PHCR:

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.

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