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Palestinian schools in Jerusalem strike in protest of closures during Jewish holiday

March 13, 2017 10:18 P.M. (Updated: March 14, 2017 12:49 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The union of parent committees of East Jerusalem schools announced on Monday that all Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem would go on strike Tuesday in protest of Israel's Jerusalem municipality "coercing Palestinian schools to close during the Jewish Passover holiday.”

The announcement was made during a news conference at the offices of Pal Media in East Jerusalem. A number of Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset joined the news conference, according to a statement released by the union.

The statement confirmed the union’s rejection of the closing of Palestinian schools during the upcoming Passover holiday, which begins on April 10 and ends on April 17.

“The Israeli Ministry of Education and Jerusalem municipality insist on imposing (closures) on our schools and students in the name of Passover,” the statement said.

“This holiday has a negative effect on the course of final ‘tawjihi’ exams in particular and on the educational process in general,” the statement said, referring to the tawjihi, a high school completion certificate in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Arab world.

The union added in the statement that additional protests would be organized if Israeli authorities “failed to respond positively to our demands.”

In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality told Ma'an that the union was “not a representative body, and does not express the desires of all parents in East Jerusalem.”

A representative for the Ministry of Education could not immediately be reached for comment.

Israel meanwhile implements massive closures on the Palestinian territory during Jewish holidays.
Last year during Purim, Israel shut down all checkpoints between the occupied West Bank and Israel and occupied Jerusalem, and all checkpoint crossings with the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians were also restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, in East Jerusalem with all Palestinian men younger than 50 denied entry to the site.

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