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Court rules president of Al-Azhar in Gaza must step down

A court has determined that Al-Azhar University-Gaza must elect a new president, a move that settles — at least temporarily — a row between Fatah leaders that led to a school-closing union strike.
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Administrative Court of Gaza ruled Sept. 12 in favor of the Workers Union at Al-Azhar University-Gaza, saying the Board of Trustees cannot extend the university president's contract yet again. An interim Board of Trustees now is moving to appoint a new president to succeed Abdel Khaleq al-Farra. 

The union went on strike in August, suspending registrations, exams and administrative working hours and leaving thousands of students unable to enroll or attend classes. Al-Azhar was finally able to reopen its doors Sept. 4 while the court's final ruling was pending, according to vice president for administrative and financial affairs Mazen Hamadeh. On Sept. 12, the court ruled the trustees must scrap their decision to extend Farra’s contract for the fourth time. The normal maximum is two terms.

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