INTRODUCTION: In the occupied West Bank, teachers have been on strike for more than two months.
SV & PAN Abdul Jawad Saleh, Head of Occupied Territories Department, member of Executive Committee of PLO speaking with PAN TO journalists.
CU PULL BACK TO SV Saleh talking.
CU PULL BACK TO SV Pressmen take notes.
SV & PAN Kawasmi, Saleh, Tamimi, Saleh talks
GV Left to right Milhem, Kawasmi, Saleh, Tamimi, Saleh still talking.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In the occupied West Bank, teachers have been on strike for more than two months. More than seven-thousands teachers have joined the strike for higher pay and better teaching conditions. The Israeli military authorities have condemned the strike, and have arrested twelve leaders under Jordanian law banning strikes by civil servants. On Monday (23 February), the striking teachers received a statement supporting their claim from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, and several prominent West Bank leaders.
SYNOPSIS: The statement was read out by the PLO official in charge of the Occupied Territories Department, Abdul Jawad Saleh. The lengthy condemnation of Israeli education policies in the West Bank accused the government of paying teachers there much less than their colleagues in Israel. He also claimed West Bank salaries were well below Israel's official poverty line. Classrooms, he added, were crowded, books were banned, and laboratory equipment inadequate. Teachers, he said, were also denied the right to organise their own union.
Abdul Jawad Saleh spoke of another problem faced by pupils in West Bank schools. He accused the military governments of administering severe punishments, which hampered study. These included heavy fines, denial of the right to sit exams, and the closing down of schools. The strike, he said had support of the Palestinian people, including the students themselves.
Further support for the strikers came from Fahd el-Kawasmi, the deported mayor of Hebron. Other deported officials also gave their support. Sheik Rajab al-Tamimi, the Moslem judge of Hebron, and Mohammad Milhem, the mayor of Hahloul, also appeared. Meanwhile, on the West Bank itself the strike is continuing.