Palestine teachers to continue strike until just solution is reached

Middle East Monitor  /  March 13, 2023

After Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s false promise, Palestinian teachers yesterday pledged that they will continue their strike action until a just solution is reached, Al-Resalah newspaper reported.

Omar Muheisen, member of the Teachers’ Movement, said that Shtayyeh pledged to “deal positively” with the demands of the teachers.

However, he said, the next day, the teachers received the same payments, with banks saying the government transferred the same payments as during previous months.

Muheisen highlighted the contradictions between the government’s promises and its actions, stressing “this pushed us not to take the government’s promises seriously.”

The government promised to raise salaries by 15 per cent and pay ten per cent retroactively, he added, but it failed to fulfil its pledges, noting that he is a teacher and does not receive a full salary. Muheisen stressed that the strike will continue until a just solution for teachers is reached.

The unions are calling for salary increases in light of the escalating inflation crisis in the local market, since the beginning of 2022. Teachers have been on strike for nearly two months.

Since November 2021, the Palestinian government has paid incomplete salaries to public sector employees after Israel’s deduction of funds from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the decline in external international support.

Israel deducted about 50 million shekels ($14.5 million) per month from Palestinian tax revenues, which has recently increased to more than 60 million ($17.5 million) per month.

Israel says the amount is equivalent to what the Palestinian Authority pays monthly in benefits to the families of prisoners and martyrs.