INTRODUCTION: With a little more than a month before the annual arrival of Christian pilgrims, the holy town of Nazareth is in the grip of a major municipal strike.
NAZARETH, ISRAEL (VISNEWS - URI SHARON)
SV PAN Rubbish in street
GV School children playing in school grounds during strike. (3 SHOTS)
GV Municipal building with signs in Arabic and English. (3 SHOTS)
SV PAN Empty office
SV Strikers gather to discuss strike issues
CU Deputy Mayor of Nazareth Ramez Jaraysi speaking
SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT) SEQ 6.:JARAYSI: "We want equality. We want equal budgets as in the Jewish sector. Also to the Arab sector. We want equality in every field in our daily life in Israel. As citizens we have the right to get the same budget as other local authorities in Israel. To stop the policy of discrimination, the policy of the Israeli government is a discrimination policy towards the Arab people in Israel."
Background: INTRODUCTION: With a little more than a month before the annual arrival of Christian pilgrims, the holy town of Nazareth is in the grip of a major municipal strike. Household rubbish is piled in the streets and local authorities believe there is now a danger of a serious public health risk. Nazareth is an Arab town and the local council is protesting at what they claim is Government favouritism to Jewish towns and cities.
SYNOPSIS: Schools have been closed in Nazareth since the local council commenced its protest against the financial policies of the Israeli government. They are claiming that the annual national budget grants favour the Jewish towns at the expense of the Arab communities. Nazareth has a Communist mayor and he organised all Arab councils throughout Israel to close down their public services in sympathy.
The protest in Nazareth has already spilled over into violence when police were attacked by demonstrators. Several strikers have been arrested. The town council is demanding money which, it says, it needs to pay its 150 staff. They have been unpaid for two months.
The council offices are empty as the strike, already more than three weeks old (24 November) looks no nearer to being resolved.
Local officials gather each day to discuss ways of keeping the city operation but the Deputy Mayor, Ramez Jaraysi, says they are determined to succeed.
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