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Palestinian teachers return to schools - but still not a penny
By Tulkarem Correspondent
PNN (Palestine News Network)
Saturday, 11 November 2006
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=974&Itemid=1

Although the Palestinian government reached an agreement with government school teachers to return to the classrooms on Tuesday, the banks refuse to transfer salaries.

As the teachers strike that kept schools closed since the opening day of the academic year in September had finally reached an agreeable end, the banks now will not cooperate.

The United States administration did openly threaten any bank that facilitated the transfer of funds to Palestinians when it began the economic and political blockade after the Hamas party won the Legislative Council elections. However these funds are not coming from the outside, but rather from the Ministry of Education to the teachers.

The Islamic Bloc of Teachers expressed its surprise and issued a condemnation Saturday of banks as they are now standing in the way of the agreement that was reached Monday evening. Per the agreement, each employee in the Ministry of Education was to immediately receive 1,000 shekels, with more to come.

The Islamic Bloc is calling on banks to act in accordance with the national consensus and is asking that Palestinian President Abbas pressure banks to receive funds transferred from the Ministry of Finance.

If the issue is not resolved within a period of days, it will be up to the parents of students to exert pressure on banks to move Ministry of Finance funds to government school teachers, the Islamic Bloc of Teachers said Saturday.

A.K.

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