The economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority is contributing to a growing wave of worker unrest that has already seen strikes against UNRWA, the UN refugee agency, and private businesses as well.
This weekend, over 3,500 teachers went on strike in Nablus and elsewhere, affecting 57,000 students in 166 schools. The teachers were demanding the payment of their November salaries. Reports indicate that the strike has spread to Hebron, Jenin and Bethlehem as well. In Jericho, tens of teachers have also walked out, according to one report. Further strike action is planned for later this week.
According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, “Palestinian Teachers General Secretariat declared a partial strike in Palestinian schools across the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday after the fourth period if the salaries were not paid soon. General-Secretary of the Teachers’ Secretariat Muhammad Suwan called on the government to provide public employees’ salaries as soon as possible because of the unbearable conditions.”
The Palestinian Authority blames Israel, citing the Israeli government decision to cut off some funds due to be transferred to the Palestinian authority as punishment for the PA’s decision to pursue UN membership rather than engage in direct talks with the Jewish state.
Palestinian teachers, however, don’t seem to be buying into that excuse, which is why instead of leading stormy protests against Israel, they’re targetting their employers — the Palestinian Authority.