Fatah, Hamas dispute over health workers in Gaza

The head of a pro-Fatah trade union said that "They (Hamas) have been sending their militias to doctors' houses to bring them by force to the hospitals," said Bassam Zakarna.

Fatah, Hamas dispute over health workers in Gaza
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction accused its Hamas rival on Wednesday of cracking down on striking health workers in the Gaza Strip.

"They have been sending their militias to doctors' houses to bring them by force to the hospitals," said Bassam Zakarna, head of a pro-Fatah trade union supporting the strike that began last Saturday in the Hamas-run territory.

Hassan Khalaf, an official in the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, declined to comment directly on the allegations but said: "Those people have been putting patients to death by abandoning their duties."

Some 85 percent of education workers and about 70 percent of primary health care personnel have walked off their jobs in the Gaza Strip, paralysing services, a U.N. source said.

They accuse Hamas of transferring Fatah supporters from their posts for political reasons, an allegation the Islamist group has denied.

Basim Naeem, the Hamas-appointed health minister in the Gaza Strip, described the strike as politically motivated and accused doctors of compromising the lives of their patients.

But a pro-Fatah doctor, who asked not to be identified, said "some young physicians who refused to return to work were imprisoned".

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Eylül 2008, 11:43
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