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(en) Palestinian high school Students Protest Alongside StrikingTeachers

From DAMN <damn@tao.ca>
Date Sun, 27 Feb 2000 08:09:43 -0500


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In a show of solidarity with striking teachers, more than 1,000 students
marched on the Palestinian Education Ministry on Tuesday. Some demonstrators
hurled empty bottles and stones, smashing windows. 

Three students, ages 13 and 15, were injured by blows to the head as
club-wielding Palestinian police tried to keep the crowd away. Three
protesters were detained. 

Elementary and high school teachers in the West Bank towns of Hebron and
Bethlehem went on strike three days ago after being told their retirement
package would be cut by 10 percent. 

The reduction affects all 18,000 public school teachers in the West Bank.
Musa Abu Hashash, a strike organizer, said he expected more colleagues to
join soon. 

In Hebron, students called for the resignation of the education minister,
Yasser Amr. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has set up a committee to
review the decision to cut the retirement package. 

Palestinian police raided three Hebron TV stations Tuesday, confiscating
video footage of Tuesday's clashes. Authorities shut down a fourth Hebron
station, "Nawras TV," last week after it broadcast interviews with the
teachers. 

In 1997, teachers in the West Bank went on strike for three weeks to press
for higher wages. At the time, it was the largest organized protest against
Arafat's government. Several teachers were jailed and the teachers ended
their strike without a pay raise. 

The average salary of a Palestinian teacher is $400 a month.



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