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In Palestine, no job means no health insurance

The Palestinian government recently decided to halt health insurance for Palestinian unemployed citizens, sparking angry reactions among civil society organizations in light of the deteriorating economic conditions for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian unemployed citizens.
A Palestinian doctor examines the eyes of a patient at Shams medical centre in Deheishe refugee camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem May 7, 2012. The new hospital, a stark contrast to Deheishe's general dilapidation, aims to provide services to sufferers of diabetes and hypertension to the handful of refugee camps spread around the Southern West Bank. Three generations of Palestinians displaced by the founding of Israel in 1948 know only life in United Nations refugee camps, going to schools beneath the
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GAZA, Gaza Strip — According to official figures published by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics on Feb. 16, the unemployment rate in Palestine climbed to 26.9%, with 360,500 unemployed out of a total workforce of 1.3 million in Palestine, while the poverty rate in the Gaza Strip exceeded 80%, according to the Zakat Department affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowments.

Despite these staggering figures, the Palestinian Cabinet announced Feb. 15 the cancellation of all health insurance benefits granted to unemployed citizens starting March 1.

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