EU calls for ‘immediate solution’ to Palestine teachers strike

Middle East Monitor  /  April 15, 2023

The European Union (EU) called for an immediate solution on Friday to the ongoing two-month-long Palestinian teachers’ strike.

This came in a statement issued by the office of the EU Representative in Palestine Sven Kuehn Von Burgsdorff, after a meeting between an EU delegation, the Minister of Education Marwan Awartani and the Independent Commission for Citizen Rights.

The statement, a copy of which Anadolu Agency obtained, stated: “We are closely following the consequences of the teachers’ strike and the catastrophic effects on the educational process, stressing the need to find an immediate solution and overcome the current crisis.”

It added: “The European Union is the largest donor to the Palestinian people, and an essential part of the support for the salary bill is allocated to teachers’ salaries.”

“We are aware of the teachers’ demands, as well as the chronic financial crisis facing the Palestinian Authority. We will continue our communication with the Palestinian government, and we will discuss the possibility of accelerating the disbursement of European contributions to help the Palestinian Authority in this critical situation,” it continued.

The statement also called on all parties to: “Work in good faith and for the educational process to be resumed immediately.”

Palestinian teachers have been on strike since 5 February to demand the implementation of a previous agreement with the government related to financial rights and trade union representation.

The government says it is suffering a financial crisis due to the decline in external support on the one hand, and the continued Israeli deductions from Palestinian tax funds, estimated at more than $70 million per month, on the other.