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Israel bans members of some major human rights groups from entering schools

File: B'Tselem chief Hagai El-Ad speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 2016 (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
File: B'Tselem chief Hagai El-Ad speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 2016 (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Following a decision by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem to henceforth refer to Israel as an “apartheid state,” Education Minister Yoav Gallant bans members of groups that “call Israel false derogatory names” from entering schools in the country.

Though Gallant’s statement doesn’t mention B’Tselem, the move comes a day before the left-wing group’s director Hagai El-Ad is set to attend a webinar — via Zoom — with the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.

In a letter to his office’s director and to school district managers, Gallant says entry should be prohibited to “groups that act in contradiction with the education system’s goals, including calling Israel false derogatory names, opposing Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state, discouraging meaningful service in the Israel Defense Forces, or acting to harm or humiliate IDF soldiers during or after their service.”

That would presumably include many human rights groups besides B’Tselem, although it’s unclear if it will prevent tomorrow’s Zoom session.

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