“The money is mine.
I am an Israeli educator and a professor at a prestigious university.
My salary is well above that of my colleagues, who work in the private sector.
And my salary is going up because I am now being paid $40,000 per year.”
On Tuesday, the government decided to increase the salary of a leading Israeli professor, who had been teaching in the occupied West Bank for several years, from $40k to $60k.
In response to the decision, hundreds of Palestinian students and parents, some of whom have been demanding a raise in their salaries for years, staged a sit-in at the Knesset to protest the salary hike.
The students also gathered outside the Kishon Kupas school, in the Old City, and set up tents outside the building, with students chanting slogans including “Pay our salaries, our freedom, and our dignity!”
A spokesperson for the Education Ministry told The Jerusalem Times that the ministry had not yet decided whether to extend the salary rise to include all teachers in the West Bank, or only those working in the Palestinian territories.
“It is very important that we keep a balance between our responsibilities to the Palestinian people and the needs of the teachers and the Palestinian education system,” the spokesperson said.
In addition to the salary increases, the education ministry has been mulling over the possibility of introducing new classes in the Kedumim campus of the Israeli university in Ramallah.
Israel’s Education Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that it would review the issue and would make a decision in the coming weeks.
On Monday, the Palestinian president called on the Israeli government to raise salaries for the Israeli teachers in all of the occupied territories.
The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, told reporters on Tuesday that he and the PA’s cabinet would hold a conference in Ramada to discuss raising salaries for teachers in both the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel.
During a visit to Israel on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also promised to raise wages for the teachers in a deal with the Palestinian Authority.
At the Kabbalah college, students held up posters with slogans such as “Save our education, our dignity,” and “Our education is our life.”
On the day of the sit-ins, a group of Palestinians took part in a sit down outside the university.
The students chanted slogans such, “I will not be silent for Israel’s freedom and dignity,” “I have no choice but to fight for our freedom and our education,” and a slogan that said, “The price of freedom is freedom.”