Gaza hospital workers strike after no pay, 200 surgeries postponed

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Medical waste is piling up in Gaza Strip hospitals and about 200 surgeries are postponed after maintenance staff went on strike, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

More than 800 staff members went on strike Sunday in response to not receiving their pay in four months, reports Haaretz. The workers, who are manpower contractors, are responsible for cleaning services in 13 hospitals, as well as several clinics and medical centers.

Health officials are warning that as garbage and medical waste pile up, lives could be threatened.

The Health Ministry in Ramallah is responsible for payments but blames Hamas for taking full control of the Strip, which Hamas denies.

Cleaning services cost about 940,000 shekels ($267,000) a month, according to Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The cleaners went on strike in January but returned to work after a few days, according to Haaretz.

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