Arab schools were on a one-day strike in solidarity with Christian schools in Israel

Most of Arab schools in Israel were on a one-day strike on Monday in solidarity with Christian schools which have been protesting state fund cuts according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The head of the Mossawa centre that promotes the rights of Arabs in Israel said nearly 450,000 Arab students in Israel stayed away from school on Monday and teachers in some schools held classes under “pressure” from the ministry.

“A majority of Arab schools observed the strike,” a spokesman for Israel’s education ministry said.

Christian schools have been on strike in Israel since last week as parents and school officials accusing the government of discrimination in funding their establishments.

Christian school say they receive only a third of the subsidies that Israel provides Jewish schools.

They will stay on strike until their demands are accepted.

Schools official, Wadie Abunassar said “we are demanding that the state give us 200 million shekels ($53 million) per year to make up the difference and cover costs.”

Christian schools in Israel received 65 percent of their budget from the stateo until two years ago, and then that figure was cut to 34 percent.

The strike affects 33,000 students, including 40 percent of Muslim.