More than 3,000 students from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya went on strike on Wednesday to protest a severe deficit of classrooms in the impoverished Arab neighborhood.
According to Darwaish Darwish, the community "mukhtar" or elected leader, the neighborhood is missing 20 classrooms for an estimated 800 students. Darwish said the community also desperately needs a girls' high school and that 200 high school girls have nowhere to learn.
"Every year we have the same problem," Darwish said on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting with municipality officials to try to stop the strike. "Last year the mayor came and said he would build. But we've been sending letters telling them we have a serious problem and that they need to build classrooms and they don't answer," he said.