Yes, the "state" that exists only because of the generous handouts of foolish governments around the world, including the US, cannot pay its teachers.
Hamas, which took office in March after winning legislative elections, has rejected international calls to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist, despite sanctions by Israel and Western donors that have bankrupted the government.
Unable to pay the government's 165,000 workers, Hamas has sought help from Muslim and Arab allies, literally carrying money into the Gaza Strip in suitcases. But it has raised only a tiny fraction of the money needed to pay back wages.
Of course, it's more important to hate Israel than it is to educate your children. And it's good to get along with your countrymen, too:
In a sign of Hamas' growing frustration, hundreds of gunmen deployed around schools in Gaza, Hamas' stronghold, unsuccessfully trying to persuade teachers and students to hold lessons on Saturday. In the West Bank, activists from the rival Fatah party stood in front of schools to enforce the strike, shooting in the air at times."
Saturday's strike was viewed by many as a tactic by Fatah, led by the moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to pressure Hamas to join it in a so-called national unity government. Abbas believes the alliance would force Hamas to recognize Israel, helping lift the sanctions and enable him to renew peace talks.
I can think of no better way to create a "national unity government" than to have opposing factions firing weapons outside of schools.
These people are barbarians. Why would anyone think they're capable of governing themselves?
Civil service and health workers unions joined the teachers in Saturday's walkout, putting a total of 80,000 workers on strike. Garbage collectors in Gaza City went on strike earlier this week, and mountains of trash have filled the air with a rancid stench.
But with protests against the government multiplying in recent weeks, the teachers' work stoppage, disrupting the studies for 800,000 schoolchildren, could deal the toughest blow to Hamas, political analyst Hani al-Masri said.
Here's how the article closes:
Students had mixed feelings.
Teachers "have the right to demand good living conditions, but we also want to study," said Fadi al-Asali, 15, a student in Gaza City. "I hope this strike will be over soon because the losers are the Palestinians."
More than 1.1 million children are enrolled in nearly 2,400 Palestinian schools. About 800,000 attend state-run schools, while the remainder study at private or U.N. schools that operated on Saturday.
Teacher Saadiya Abu Saud clutched the hand of a crying first-grader in the yard outside Nablus' Rafidieh school. "It's the first day of school. The children needed someone to greet them. ... I don't support the strike," she said.
"They're driving us crazy, both Fatah and Hamas," Abu Saud said. "They haven't done anything to get the Palestinian people ahead."
I wonder if young Fadi al-Asali, quoted above, would agree with thought process that says that things will get better for the Palestinians when they stop trying to destroy the only country on the planet that's actually given them real estate they can call their own.
I feel for the teachers and students but have nothing but disgust and contempt for their so-called government. It was foolish ever to even consider that the Palestinians could create a viable state, especially when Yasser Arafat was put in charge. Now, a different terrorist organization is in charge. Let them rule. The Palestinians, including the teachers, are reaping what they sow.
May their harvest be abundant.
Update, 9/3/06: Little Green Footballs has the AP/Yahoo story of a boy who was shot by armed, masked men trying to enforce the strike (see my point about the "unity government" above):
This is a great example of how appallingly corrupt the wire services have become in their reporting from Palestinian areas, relying on Palestinian journalists and editors who are doing the bidding of terrorist groups and covering up atrocities.
Associated Press writer Ali Daraghmeh’s story is about a gang of masked terrorists who fired on a crowd of schoolchildren to enforce a “teacher’s strike,” wounding a 12-year old boy.
Think about that. They used live fire against a crowd of children.
But the Associated Press headline for the story by Ali Daraghmeh is deliberately worded to be as innocuous and misleading—in fact, downright confusing—as possible: Palestinian teachers’ strike hurts boy.