Riziq Al Barghouthi, member of the General Committee for the Teachers
Union in the West Bank, told the IMEMC that teachers are ongoing with
their strike and that no agreement has been reached, adding that what
happened was an attempt to bypass the decision of the teachers union.
The strike continued today in a number of sectors in Palestinian, despite an announcement by the Palestinian government that the an agreement had been reached to end the five-day old teachers strike.
Wasfi Qabha, the acting Minister of Education, said in an interview with the IMEMC that Wednesday's talks with the teachers union reached a positive level, but problem that remains, according to Qabha, is who represents the teachers union in Gaza.
In the West Bank, the Teachers Union said that the strike is ongoing, and that no agreement was reached. Riziq Al Barghouthi, member of the General Committee for the Teachers Union, told the IMEMC that the strike committee is holding a meeting on the issue.
“This so-called agreement was apparently made in Gaza, maybe our brothers there were threated, we consider this an attempt to bypass the decision of the teachers union”. Al Barghouthi added, “The brother who said that an agreement has been reached, is a teacher at an UNRWA school, he is not even a government teacher”,
Meanwhile, Qabha said that no one threatened the striking teachers, and added that some armed groups blocked the roads in front of the students, and placed locks on school doors in order to prevent the students and teachers from reaching the educational facilities.
Ministry of Education says a deal was reached to postpone the strike for one month
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC, 13:34
After mediation talks between the teachers Union and the Palestinian
Ministry of Education, the ministry issued a statement saying that an
agreement has been reached to postpone the teachers strike for one
month, and hold talks with the Legislative Council, the Government and
the President office in order to solve the issue achieve the demands of
the teacher who have not been paid in months.
The ministry said that its is also holding talks with schools and educational facilities in order to maintain positive talks with them.
Also, the ministry confirmed that no salary deductions and punishment measures will be conducted against the strikers who were practicing their right.
The ministry added that in later stages it will revise that the rights of the teachers as stated in the “civil service law” in order to give the teacher equal rights that employees in other ministries enjoy.
A strike which began this past Saturday by the Palestinian teachers' union has now expanded to include nearly all sectors of the Palestinian government, as well as banks and private industry. The strike is intended to pressure and shame the international community into lifting an economic blockade on the democratically-elected Palestinian government that has been in place since March, and has prevented government employees from receiving their salaries.
In an interview with the IMEMC, Jamil Shehadeh, head of the Palestinian teachers' union, said, "The teachers' strike is open and ongoing until the issue of teachers' salaries is resolved."
Since the teachers' strike began Saturday, other government employees soon joined in, as well as the private sector. Today, Tuesday, a general strike was declared across Palestine.
Some within the Palestinian government have called the strike an internal attempt to undermine the Hamas-led Palestinian government, in order to install a government more favorable to the United States and Israel (in this case, the Fateh party, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas).
But Jamil Shehadeh of the teachers' union told the IMEMC; "We aren't against any government, any party, we are for the interest of the teachers and the national interest."