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Palestine condemns Israel's revocation of school licences in Jerusalem

Palestinian bedouin children receive education in classroom at the only school in the region 'Itarat School' in Khan al-Ahmar region of Jerusalem on 16 July, 2018 [İssam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Bedouin children receive education in classroom at the only school in the region 'Itarat School' in Khan al-Ahmar region of Jerusalem on 16 July, 2018 [İssam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestine condemned, on Thursday, an Israeli decision to withdraw the licences of Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem and called on Washington to intervene to stop its implementation.

This came in two separate statements by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and the Ministry of Education. The Anadolu Agency received a copy of the two statements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that it condemns "in the strongest terms the decision of the occupation authorities (…) to withdraw the licences of Al-Eman Schools and Ibrahimieh College in the occupied East Jerusalem."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered that this decision "paves the way to close those schools under flimsy pretexts and justifications". It considered it as "an integral part of the processes of Judaising Jerusalem, and the attempt to impose the Israeli curriculum and the colonial Israeli narrative on the Jerusalemites."

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community, the US administration, and the relevant UN organisations, foremost of which is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), "to take the necessary measures and pressure the occupying entity to immediately stop implementing this decision."

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For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Education said that the withdrawal of the licenses of the six schools was "because they taught the Palestinian curriculum as one of the basic rights guaranteed by international conventions, charters and covenants."

The Ministry added that the decision "comes within the context of Israelisation of education."

The Ministry affirmed that it "is following up the issue with international human rights and legal organisations, such as UNESCO, UN institutions and relevant friendly countries to shoulder their responsibilities, and oblige the occupation to enforce laws and agreements relating to the right of Jerusalemite students to educate in freedom and dignity."

The Ministry of Education expressed its "rejection of the Israeli action", adding that it "falls within the context of the war against the national inclusive identity, distortion and falsification of facts".

The Israeli Minister of Education, Yifat Shasha-Biton, decided Thursday to "revoke the licenses of six schools in East Jerusalem". The schools have around 2,000 pupils.

Biton said in a statement, a copy of which Anadolu Agency received, that the decision came "due to the incitement against the State of Israel and the Israeli army in the school textbooks," adding that it would deal with "incitement"  "severely."

She added that she "summoned the directors of these schools for a hearing, and then decided to cancel the permanent licenses of the schools and give them a conditional license for a year to make changes to their curriculum".

There are many authorities of education in East Jerusalem such as Israel, the Palestinian Authority, "UNRWA", Jordan and the private sector.

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