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Jericho Governor: teachers invaluable to state-building process

March 21, 2015 8:05 P.M. (Updated: March 23, 2015 4:13 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- The governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, Majid Fityani, stressed the importance of Palestinian teachers in building a Palestinian state on Tuesday.

"Palestinian teachers are the most important pillars in state-building," he said, stating that they were entrusted with the power of "mobilizing the minds of future generations, who will carry after us the banners of freedom and independence."

He made his comments at a reception in the provincial headquarters in Jericho, where both educational directorate staff and teachers were present, including director Basem Ariqat.

Fityani offered particular praise to the attendees, highlighting the difficult conditions in which they work, which include routine harassment and provocation by Israeli forces for both teachers and students.

His comments come as teachers and other public servants in the occupied West Bank face inconsistent paychecks and partial payments.

The most recent tax freeze on funds to the Palestinian Authority by Israel has worsened the PA's ability already inconsistent ability to pay West Bank teachers, causing partial school shut downs across the West Bank.

In early January, Israeli authorities froze the delivery of $127 million in Palestinian tax revenue, collected on imported goods, as a punitive measure in response to Palestine's decision to join the International Criminal Court.

Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said early February that Israel's freeze on Palestinian tax revenue was costing the Palestinian Authority 70 percent of its budget.

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