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West Bank teachers to go on open strike

Feb. 23, 2013 5:33 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 24, 2013 9:10 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The union of West Bank teachers decided Saturday to escalate protests against the Palestinian Authority in light of the ongoing financial crisis rendering the government unable to pay civil servants' salaries.

Bassam Naim, a spokesman of the union, told Ma'an it decided to start an open strike Wednesday.

Teachers, according to Naim, will go to schools but without attending classes. Furthermore, classes will be suspended Tuesday after the second session and teachers will carry out a sit-in strike in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council offices in Ramallah.

An open strike will only end after an agreement is reached with the PA.

"The decision to go on strike was taken because the latest remarks by the minister of finance and the government indicated they treated teachers and their rights indifferently," he said.

Since November, Israel has withheld Palestinian tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, exacerbating the government's financial crisis.

The PA's 153,000 public sector workers have received partial salaries, which have repeatedly been paid late.
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