Palestinian Authority security forces detained 22 teachers who participated in a two-day school strike in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, Palestinian media reported.
Members of the Palestinian Teachers’ Union said police conducted a series of raids arresting the teachers who participated in the two-day school strike demanding a wage increase, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
Palestinian teacher Yousef Badran of Hebron said the PA has not fulfilled a 2013 pledge to increase teachers’ salaries by 10 percent. He says teachers scrape by on salaries of about $640 per month and “all we demand is a decent life.”
Citing data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Ma’an put the average monthly expenditure of a Palestinian family in the West Bank at $1,333.
The Western-backed PA is going through a severe fiscal crisis and struggling to pay its vast number of government employees. Teachers make up the largest group of this sector.
Badran said about 20,000 teachers from across the West Bank demonstrated this week in Ramallah outside the office of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
Local officials said the strike at governmental schools had been conducted illegally. The Palestinian Authority declined comment.