The board of directors of Makassed Islamic Charitable Society (MICS) would like to call the attention to the serious developments which have recently taken place at MAKASSED HOSPITAL in Jerusalem.

A committee led by Dr. Fathi Arafat which was set up by the Palestinian Authority in late November and without prior consultation with the MICS, made several recommendations including separating the hospital from the society, its legal owner, as restructuring the hospital administration. These recommendations were later approved by the president of the PA.

The board of directors of MICS naturally objected to the above-mentioned decisions and requested to have its views heard on the matter. Instead, on 19-1-1997 we were surprised by the newly appointed directors breaking into the administration’s office and taking a control of the hospital by force, a move which was widely condemned by the majority of the specialists working in the hospital as well as by the heads of departments. The Palestinian NGO’S network has also publicly voiced its objection to this unjustified interference in the affairs of the largest Palestinian NGO.

Our efforts to restore the legal status to the hospital have failed so far. Dr. Haider Abdelshafi, the president of the MICS board, is still trying to meet with president Arafat discuss the issue.

We hereby would like to reiterate our clear objection to the imposed changes on the society and its hospital for the following reasons.

  1. MICS is an independent NGO and the Palestinian authority has illegally interfered in its activities in the absence of a law regulating the work of NGO’S in Palestine.
  2. This intervention has come at a time when the hospital has successfully maintained the highest standards of performance despite the difficult prevailing circumstances. Its services are very well appreciated by the Palestinian population. Additionally the hospital’s administration has managed to reduce the deficit in its budget by more than 75% through successful programmes of self-dependence and increased efficiency. The hospital has always managed to upgrade its various departments.
  3. The latest forced changes in the hospital are frank violations of its legal status.

The board of directors of MICS insists on its right to defend the independence of this important NGO. which has played a major role in the Palestinian health system over the last 30 years. We have therefore decided to call for an urgent meeting of the MICS GENERAL ASSEMBLY whose members are legally responsible for making main decisions concerning the society and its institutions. The general assembly will be asked to elect a new board of directors as well.

Meanwhile, we declare the newly appointed management as illegal and we call upon all concerned parties to directly deal with the MICS on issues related to the hospital at the following address.

Makassed Islamic Charitable Society
P.O. Box 19481
Jerusalem
Fax: (+972) 2-628-0853
Tel: (+972) 2-628-4746

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