Ramallah Since 2018, Representative Abdul-Jabbar al-Fuqaha (55 years) has found himself without a source of livelihood, after a decision by the Ministry of Finance and the Pension Board in the Palestinian government cut his pension as a deputy in the Legislative Council after he was dissolved by a decision of the Palestinian President.
He was also unable to return to his previous work in trade, due to restrictions imposed by the authority and the occupation on opening bank balances in his name, transferring his money abroad to buy goods, and preventing him from traveling by the occupation, which made him go to work as a taxi driver in Ramallah.
During this period, jurists went to the judiciary to appeal the decision to cut his salary, along with 28 out of 44 deputies from the Reform and Change Bloc affiliated with Hamas, whose salaries were cut against the background of the decision.
After the decision of the Palestinian High Court of Justice to cancel the decision to stop the payment of his pension, and to pay his dues retroactively for the previous period, jurists feel fair. However, he did not hide – during his conversation with Al Jazeera Net – his fear that the decision would not be implemented, and he said, “We hope that this decision will be in our interest and that our salaries will be paid soon.”
And after the decision to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council, cut the salaries of Hamas deputies, and transfer its deputies to retirement; Twenty-eight of these deputies appealed against the decision on the grounds that it is political, and contradicts the principle of equality recognized by the Palestinian Basic Law.
Since then, and even before the date of the last session during which the final ruling was issued, the Ministry of Finance has been rejecting court requests to submit a statement of the amounts received by lawmakers from other blocs, says lawyer Daoud Darawi, who is following up on the case.
Darawi adds to Al Jazeera Net, “Two years ago, the court issued 7 requests to the Ministry of Finance to submit these statements, but they did not comply until after we resorted to using oral evidence and listening to the testimony of representatives from other blocs.”
Darawi considered that this ruling will be a prelude to more judicial decisions on issues related to the division, such as stopping the salaries of Hamas prisoners, although it will take a long time in the courts due to its sensitivity.
Regarding the fate of the salaries of MPs who did not file the appeals, Darawi said, “The original cancellation of the decision extends to all MPs affected by it, but we will not be surprised if it is applied only to the 28 MPs.”
The decision is positive if implemented
Although this decision is irrevocable and must be implemented immediately, Darawi believes that some obstacles will be placed in the way of implementation. “I expect some obstruction, but legally there is no loophole to obstruct it, unless a political decision is taken to refrain from implementing it.”
Advocate Darawi seems to be more optimistic than the former parliament member, Hassan Khreisheh, who volunteered to provide oral evidence as a testimonial before the court.
Khreisheh told Al Jazeera Net, “We hope that the decision will be implemented, but the reality is that some influential people in the authority are accustomed not to implement court decisions in the absence of the Legislative Council and accountability.”
According to Khreisheh, the decision is a acknowledgment of the basic rights sanctioned by the Palestinian Basic Law, and the law on the rights and duties of members of the Legislative Council, but in the current Palestinian reality, “I have doubts about its applicability.”
Regarding the official Palestinian position on this decision, Al Jazeera Net tried, during the preparation of this report, to contact the spokesman of the Palestinian government and the Palestinian Minister of Justice, but did not receive an answer.