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Education minister revokes licenses of 6 East Jerusalem schools for incitement

Institutes given conditional permits, told to rectify curriculum after textbooks found to glorify armed struggle against Israel, contain conspiracy theories

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton attends faction meeting of her New Hope party at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton attends faction meeting of her New Hope party at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton announced Thursday that she had given instructions to cancel the permanent licenses of six schools in East Jerusalem due to incitement against Israel and the Israeli army.

The schools will be given a conditional license for a year, during which they will be required to make changes to their curriculum or lose their operating license entirely.

The schools were found to be using textbooks that included “the glorification of prisoners and their armed struggle against the State of Israel, conspiracy theories about withholding treatment from patients and intentional harm to medical staff, accusations of [Israel] being responsible for the water crisis in the Palestinian Authority and grave claims about killings, displacements and military massacres,” the Education Ministry said in a statement.

Directors of the Ibrahimieh College and five other schools run by the Al-Eman organization were summoned for a hearing on the material. Together, the schools have around 2,000 pupils.

“Incitement against the State of Israel and IDF soldiers in children’s school textbooks is an intolerable phenomenon that will be dealt with severely,” Shasha-Biton said.

Earlier this month, an East Jerusalem high school drew outrage after video footage showed a school play that had students dressed up as gunmen pointing weapons at other students dressed up as religious Jews, blindfolded and on their knees.

The incident took place at the Anata High School in East Jerusalem, according to a report Wednesday by Channel 12.

A video of the play, which appeared to draw a large audience, was uploaded to TikTok and went viral.

Responding to the reports, the Education Ministry condemned the incident but clarified that the school was under the full administrative control of the Palestinian Authority.

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