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New school year at Israel Christian schools in doubt

Roman Catholic clergymen hold candles at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 2, 2015Israel’s academic year starts Tuesday, but if tough financing talks with the government bear no fruit, the doors of the country’s 47 Christian schools will remain closed, a church official said. Some 33,000 children, mostly Muslim Arabs, attend the schools, which have a history predating Israel’s foundation in 1948 and are run primarily by the Roman Catholic church. Father Abdelmassih Fahim, director of schools for the Catholic church’s Custody of the Holy Land, said the situation had become untenable and he is pressing for a return to the 65 percent funding figure.

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