October 6, 2011 - 12:00am

A general strike in all schools run by United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip continued on Wednesday.

The strike was prompted by the UNRWA's Arab staff union to protest a decision which suspended the union head's work for three unpaid months.

Teachers demonstrated in front of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza city, chanting slogans against the humanitarian organization. They halted work in all UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip, which host 220,000 students.

UNRWA meanwhile said in an official statement that it expressed regret for the general strikes that obstruct the process of education in the Gaza Strip.

"UNRWA feels sorry for arranging general strikes amid difficult economical situation. The strike, led by the Union of Employees is negatively affecting the monthly income of the families," said the statement.

The UNRWA said it had suspended the work of Suhil Al-Hendi, head of the Arab staff union, for violating the organization's internal rules and regulations.

Al-Hendi said earlier that his work was halted for his participation in a meeting attended or organized by officials from Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip since 2007.

In the Gaza Strip, around 900,000 Palestinians, out of 1.5 million, are refugees receiving humanitarian aid from UNRWA in education, health and sanitation sectors.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017