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Some 13,000 UN employees in Gaza Strip strike to protest cost-cutting measures

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Thousands of employees of the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency in the Gaza Strip are striking against cost-cutting measures the agency is imposing to overcome a financial crisis.

The protesters say they want the commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency to cancel measures that would allow the agency to impose one-year unpaid leave on staff and increase the number of students in U.N.-run classrooms.

Some 13,000 teachers, health workers and other employees are on strike. A demonstration Monday outside the agency's Gaza headquarters was the largest of a series of demonstrations in recent weeks.

Hamas-run schools in the Palestinian territory began the school year, but U.N.-run schools remain closed because of the strike.

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said the unpaid leave measure has been frozen.

PHOTO: Thousands of Palestinian United Nations workers demonstrate against measures the organization has taken to overcome an acute financial crisis in Gaza City, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. The protest today outside the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Gaza headquarter was the largest in a series of demonstrations in recent weeks, called up by the agency’s Local Staff Union. The protesters say they want the UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl to cancel amendments that allow him to impose a one-year unpaid leave on staff when needed and increase the number of students in classrooms. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
Thousands of Palestinian United Nations workers demonstrate against measures the organization has taken to overcome an acute financial crisis in Gaza City, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. The protest today outside the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Gaza headquarter was the largest in a series of demonstrations in recent weeks, called up by the agency’s Local Staff Union. The protesters say they want the UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl to cancel amendments that allow him to impose a one-year unpaid leave on staff when needed and increase the number of students in classrooms. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

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PHOTO: Thousands of Palestinian United Nations workers demonstrate against measures the organization has taken to overcome an acute financial crisis in Gaza City, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. The protest today outside the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Gaza headquarter was the largest in a series of demonstrations in recent weeks, called up by the agency’s Local Staff Union. The protesters say they want the UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl to cancel amendments that allow him to impose a one-year unpaid leave on staff when needed and increase the number of students in classrooms. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
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