More than 100 Palestinian teachers who left Gaza to interview for jobs in Qatar were sent home last night after Jordanian authorities denied them access through the Allenby border crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge.
According to the Palestinian ambassador in Doha, the teachers had been scheduled to interview for jobs with a Qatar education committee in Amman.
The travelers were turned back from Jordan’s border because the procedures to obtain official approval for their entry had not been completed, Mounir Ghannam told Doha News.
He added that the paperwork should be sorted soon.
After reaching the West Bank through the Erez crossing, most of the teachers were cleared to cross the Israeli side of the Allenby border because they had the necessary official documents and approvals from those authorities.
However, Israeli officials refused entry to some of the teachers over what they described as “security concerns,” Ghannam said.
The rest of the educators were then denied access to the Allenby crossing from the Jordanian side, due to a lack of official clearance.
Teachers who are hired by the education council will receive work visas to start teaching in Qatar at the beginning of upcoming academic school year in September.
The process is part of Qatar’s Palestinian employment initiative, which the country launched last year.
Under that program, employment visas from Qatar would allow those holding Palestinian identification documents – not passports – to work here.
If successful, the initiative would roughly double the size of the Palestinian population in Qatar to 40,000, Ghannam previously told Doha News.
He added that such job opportunities would provide much-needed work for residents of the occupied territories. Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world at 43 percent, according to the World Bank.
Over the past several years, Qatar has sent millions of dollars of financial support to the Palestinian Authority. In April, it offered the government some $100 million in interest-free loans to be allocated for developmental projects.
Diplomatically, former Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was a strong supporter of the Palestinian people and made a landmark visit to Gaza in 2012.
Local charities and groups have also launched several initiatives to raise money to help the people of the besieged Gaza strip, including efforts to raise money to build a girl’s high school and support the education system.