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Ministry: Schools to reopen Sunday

Dec. 20, 2012 5:37 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2012 5:37 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Schools in the West Bank will reopen on Sunday, the education ministry said Thursday, after closing during a teachers' strike over unpaid salaries.

Ministry undersecretary Mohammad Abu Zeid said classes would resume Sunday and end-of-term exams will be held Wednesday, after the Christmas holiday.

Abu Zeid praised teachers for their support, and expressed understanding that staff could not afford transport to work due to late payment of salaries.

The Palestinian Authority says public sector employees will be paid November salaries early next week, after banks loaned the government $100 million.

Israel is withholding about $100 million in monthly customs revenues it collects on the Palestinians' behalf as punishment for their successful bid at the UN General Assembly last month to gain de facto statehood recognition.

The Palestinian Authority was suffering a deep financial crisis even before the move, and has had to delay payments to its 153,000 public sector workers several times this year.

Government workers last received salaries for October, which were paid belatedly at the end of November.

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