Police bar Palestinian textbooks from Temple Mount school
search

Police bar Palestinian textbooks from Temple Mount school

Students reportedly not allowed to reach school on holy site while carrying books; police spokesperson says materials banned over 'incitement' fears

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

Illustrative: Palestinian schoolgirls chat as they head to school on the first day of a new academic year, at a United Nations-run school at the Al-Shatee refugee camp in Gaza City on August 23, 2017 (AFP/ MOHAMMED ABED)
Illustrative: Palestinian schoolgirls chat as they head to school on the first day of a new academic year, at a United Nations-run school at the Al-Shatee refugee camp in Gaza City on August 23, 2017 (AFP/ MOHAMMED ABED)

Israeli police on Thursday banned a Palestinian school in Jerusalem from being able to receive textbooks with the Palestinian Authority logo, reportedly keeping students carrying the book from reaching their school on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

A police spokesperson said textbooks with the PA logo were prevented from being taken onto the Temple Mount.

According to the official Palestinians news outlet Wafa, students at The Al-Aqsa Sharia High School for Boys were prevented from entering the site and their school with the books in their possession.

A police spokesperson said he was “not familiar” with the incident of students being prevented from entering a school.

The Sharia High School for Boys posted images on its Facebook page showing students standing outside of the Gate of the Tribes entrance into the Temple Mount as police inspected their textbooks.

The school then distributed the textbooks to the students outside of the Temple Mount compound, the pictures show.

قوات الاحتلال تمنع دخول الكتب المدرسية إلى مدرسة ثانوية الأقصى الشرعيةكما وقامت باعتقال كل من مدير المدرسة الاستاذ نادر…

Posted by ‎مدرسة ثانوية الأقصى الشرعية للبنين‎ on Thursday, 24 August 2017

On Tuesday, Wafa reported that Israeli police prevented the entry of textbooks onto the Temple Mount destined for two high schools and a kindergarten.

Ahad Sabri, headmaster of the Al-Aqsa Sharia High School for Girls, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that on Tuesday the books for her students were also distributed outside of the Temple Mount Compound.

The Palestinian school year began on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Education Ministry slammed what it said was Israel’s “fierce war” against the education sector in East Jerusalem.

“The continuous occupation practices against education in the holy city reflect the extent of the occupation’s ugliness and its flagrant violation of all international conventions guaranteeing the right to education and ensuring the access of students to their educational institutions in a secure and stable environment,” the ministry said in press release published Thursday on Wafa.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Times of Israel, “As far as I know, the books were prevented from going into that specific area of the Temple Mount after an attempt to smuggle them into that area.”

When asked whether students who now have the textbooks will be permitted to individually bring them into school, he responded, “As far as I know, those materials are not allowed inside the area of the Temple Mount. We’ll see what happens.”

Rosenfeld explained that the books were not permitted to enter the Temple Mount because “the materials have to be examined and looked into in order to ensure they are not connected to any materials that are illegal or incitement.”

Palestinian children attend the first day of school in the West bank city of Ramallah. September 04, 2011 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Palestinian children attend the first day of school in the West bank city of Ramallah. September 4, 2011 (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Israeli police, he said, do not examine the textbooks of any Palestinian schools outside the Temple Mount.

Israel and independent NGOs have long accused the PA’s curriculum of incitement, a charged recently denied by the PA education minister in an exclusive interview with The Times of Israel.

The PA education ministry is switching to a brand new series of textbooks for the 2017 school year.

East Jerusalemite students can go to four different types of schools: Israeli schools, Israeli-sponsored schools, schools run by the Palestinian Authority or schools run by the Jerusalem Waqf, a body of the Jordanian government that administers Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

The schools on the Temple Mount are run by the Waqf.

In its report on Tuesday, Wafa accused Israel of “trying to ban the use of Palestinian books in occupied Jerusalem and replace them with Israeli-issued textbooks, which Palestinians strongly oppose because the Israeli books distort and misrepresent Palestinian history and culture.”

read more:
comments