Palestinian teachers halt strike amid promise of wage hike

A spokesman says 40,000 Palestinian teachers suspended a three-week-old strike after President Mahmoud Abbas promised to increase their salaries next year.

Teachers' union member Yousef Batran said Sunday that the strike will resume within a week unless the government makes good on previous promises to increase pay.

The strike had been accompanied by some of the largest protests against the cash-strapped Palestinian self-rule government in the West Bank in recent years, as well as crackdowns on demonstrators by Palestinian security forces.

It was seen as an expression of the public's growing frustration with Abbas. Human rights groups have said the Palestinian leader has adopted increasingly authoritarian methods to suppress dissent, as his popularity is slipping.

On Saturday, Abbas agreed to increase salaries for teachers by 10 percent, as of 2017.