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Israel’s Christian schools crisis deepens

The Higher Committee for Church Affairs in Palestine has warned of potential negative outcomes of the ongoing strikes at Christian schools in Israel, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

In a statement, the committee said that the Christian schools crisis proves the “racism” of the Israeli occupation state, reinforces the Judaism of the state and puts economic and social pressure non-Jewish citizens, mainly Arabs.

The committee called on international rights groups and all countries in the Christian world to not any accept dealings with Israel as a “Jewish state”.

The General Secretariat of Christian Schools in Israel recently escalated its open-ended strike to include all Christian schools in Israel, including those in Jerusalem. The measures also included demonstrations in front of Israeli public institutions.

The head of the Secretariat, Abdul-Massiah Francisky, said that: “The escalation [of the strikes] came after we had not received any response form the Education Ministry over our demands. We have nothing to do except strike.”

Associated Press said that about 2,500 striking demonstrators gathered on Sunday outside the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Some 33,000 students across 47 schools have been on strike since the school year began on Tuesday. Protesters complain that Israel continues to fund large private school networks that cater to ultra-Orthodox Jews while it slashes the budget of Christian schools.

The Israeli government recently and without warning slashed 45 per cent of the budget allocated to minority faith schools to a mere 29 per cent of state funds.

Israel considers such schools as “unrecognised institutions” and only pays 65 per cent of their costs. The remaining 35 per cent is raised directly from students and their families.

IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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